A Couple More Thoughts on Expectations

A couple of days ago I wrote about problems with expectations. While expectations can cause us a lot of problems, at the same time we should have expectations. We go on vacation because we expect that we’ll have fun…connect with our family…etc. I was thinking specifically about our relationship with God. On the one hand, […]

by bob

Sep 6, 2012

Picture from not too far from our house in Raheny (That’s Howth in the background.)

A couple of days ago I wrote about problems with expectations. While expectations can cause us a lot of problems, at the same time we should have expectations. We go on vacation because we expect that we’ll have fun…connect with our family…etc.

I was thinking specifically about our relationship with God. On the one hand, we should approach God with a sense of expectation…when we forgive people…when we are generous…when we trust God and take a step of faith, we should have a sense of expectation that God will get involved. Faith really requires a sense that if I take this step, God will do something.

The problem comes in when we begin to define what those expectations are…

“I really want this thing, and I’m not getting it…if I give more/do something generous, then God will give it to me.”

“If I forgive this person, then here is what I want our relationship to be like. Or here is how I would like God to pay them back.” (I’m sure none of you has ever thought anything like that.)

On the one hand, God is not a computer…I put this in, I should get this out. None of us would like to be in a relationship where someone interacted with us in a way that said, “when I do this, you have to do this.”

At the same time, since we tend to be pretty self-centred & narrow focused when we start thinking like this (or maybe that’s just me), we tend to end up with expectations that are simply not realistic, or all that healthy anyway.

And then when God does get involved, since it doesn’t look like we were expecting…or what we wanted…we end up not being grateful, and can easily miss the bigger work he’s doing.

Just something bouncing around in my head the past few days…any thoughts?

What about Bob?

bob

I grew up in Western New York and have started and led missional church planting efforts for a little over 30 years. As you might gather, I have opinions about the church, and I share some of them here.

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Comments

1 Comment

  1. Mike Foster

    Very well put man, for so very long I expected God to work the way I wanted Him to, and because of that I missed all the incredible stuff He was doing. Until I just thought about it I didn’t even realize that I still will at times let myself do that.

    Reply

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