I’m butthurt over unmet expectations. People didn’t vote like me. They don’t agree with my passions. They don’t share my level of passion. They look different. Love different. Laugh different. Find different fun.
2020 has been the year of unmet expectations hasn’t it? As I write this, Governor Murphy just posted all the states we are not allowed to travel to. Well, we are allowed but have to quarantine for 14 days after. This list eliminates the possibility for my family to get together over Thanksgiving. Another unmet expectation. My honest feeling is frustration toward Murphy, toward inconsistencies with our government, and toward the stripping away of freedoms.
That’s the issue with unmet expectations; it leaves us with a lot of confusion, hurt, and frustration. These feelings often paralyze us. Through a whirlwind of emotions we often don’t know how to move forward and struggle with how to react to people.
Check these verses, do you see an unmet expectation?
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
I’m thankful unmet expectations didn’t keep Jesus from leaning in; He actually leaned in despite unmet expectations. Unmet expectations did not cause Him to run from us, but toward us. He leaned in all while finding our sin to be obscene.
If unmet expectations didn’t keep Jesus from leaning in and reaching in, why should it for us?
Because He leaned in despite unmet expectations, it paved the road through faith for these relational terms to be used: brother, sister, son, daughter, friend, adopted.
Let’s be more like Jesus. Let’s reach in despite unmet expectations.
A few suggestions as you embrace unmet expectations:
Pray for God to overwhelm your vision: Someone let you down? Ask God to help you see through the hurt to the person. Ask God to help you view people the way HE views them. Perhaps the person isn’t a Christian. Part of the vision shift might simply be with your actual expectations. Shouldn’t we expect those without God to live like those without God?
See extending yourself as an extension of grace: You’ve been hurt? You have an unmet expectation? The gap between you and that person is surely not greater than the gap between you and God. When we fail to extend grace, we are elevating ourselves above God.
Use relational terms over people: When you think about the person who has left you with an unmet expectation, how do you refer to them? How do you talk about them? Shift your language to speak of them as Christ speaks of them. Are they Christian and part of the family of God? Speak of them as brother or sister. Are they outside the family of God? Refer to them as your ONE (remember that whole pray for one thing?). God went after the ONE. God loves the ONE. Talking about them as a ONE might help you move missionally towards them.
This isn’t easy. Unmet expectations are hard. But let’s be Christlike. Let’s glean from His example. Even with a governor who ruined Thanksgiving!
Keep Praying for One.
Pastor Jason Coache,
Lead Pastor at Wellspring Church