Do You Have Unfair Expectations?
by Debbie Holloway
"Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” (Exodus 4:11)
Last week one of the ladies in my office brought some veggie burgers to give away during lunchtime. She is sometimes sent free products or games through a certain company in exchange for spreading word about them and sending in pictures of her friends & co-workers enjoying the free product. I’d never had a veggie burger, but I thought, Hey, I won’t say no to a free lunch!
Several people showed up to the break-room to sample the burgers, but everyone was a little nervous to actually eat them. I went first, my expectations low and my mind open.
It wasn’t bad! In fact, I found it tasty and would eat it again. Later I chuckled to myself, thinking, there’s no way my husband would enjoy this. You see, my husband is a pretty big fan of a good burger. And, while the veggie burger was tasty in my opinion, it didn’t really taste like a beef burger. It had its own unique flavor. But it would be hard to give my husband something that looks like a burger and then tell him that it won’t taste like a burger. Basically disappointment would inevitably happen.
And that got me thinking even further. Isn’t that an epidemic that the human race has most of the time? We have such specific expectations about things. We hear a movie quoted and praised to death, set our expectations sky-high, and by the time we watch it, we can’t appreciate it because it doesn’t live up to the hype. More harmful than movie expectations, however, are the expectations we subconsciously place on our spiritual life, or our relationship with Christ.
“I’m supposed to feel ____ when I worship…right? But I don’t feel it. There must be something wrong with me.”
“Why don’t I hear God’s voice when I pray? Abraham did. Moses did. Does God hear me?”
“My friend _____ speaks in tongues. I’ve never done that. Does that mean I’m not filled with the spirit?”
But Scripture tells us that every human being was created unique, in God’s image, and you have a different part to play in the body of Christ than your neighbor does.
“Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body… If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be” (1 Corinthians 12:14-18).
Intersecting Faith and Life: The next time you allow your expectations to deflate you, remember that expectations rob us of joying in the here-and-now. Be present! Be thankful! Remember that your experiences and your role in the church are meant to be unique and shouldn’t be compared to anyone else’s.