How easy is it to be wrapped around the errors of other people? The moments where expectations are missed. I think I fall into this so much. I get drained by looking into other people’s lives and hold them to a set of standards I have created. Don’t we do that? We create expectations for people without their consent. We don’t even tell them the expectation that we’ve created. And when they don’t meet those expectation we get bummed. We get frustrated. May I say we hold some judgment towards that person?
Let’s explore why we create expectations for others.
Personally, I deal with two reasons, probably more, why I create expectations for people. Maybe you’re like me.
One, I have ulterior motives. Expectations can seem like a small thing, especially for relationships and friendship. However, at their root we desire a certain outcome. Whether that is the amount of time we spend with someone, the deeds others have to do for us, etc.
And two, I have insecurity. Usually when I hold someone to expectations it’s because I’m not even meeting the expectation myself. So I look for the fault in the other. It is this manifest of anxiety that directs my focus off myself and onto other people – casting judgment.
But that is so wrong of us.
The Bible says: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We all fall short - none of us can meet the expectation. Therefore, we are justified by his grace as a gift (3:24).
Did you catch that?
We missed the expectation so God presented us with a gift of grace!
There is so much to unpack from that simple truth. We as humans won’t meet expectations. We will fall short. The best gift we can give each other when we miss one another’s expectations is grace.
How do you apply this?
We are hurt when expectations are missed. Grace is always a choice. A decision to gift someone with something they don’t deserve shakes the world. When another person shakes our own world, make the conscious decision that grace will be our gift. It will then be in their hands to accept it or deny it. But really who can deny a gift like that?
Here is a challenge:
When your boyfriend/girlfriend messes up, gets swamped with homework and can no longer hang out… give them grace.
When you feel like you do all the chores in the house and your roommate does nothing… give them grace.
When your professor isn’t up to your standards in teaching… give them grace.
There is grace in the missed expectation.