God is Not Disappointed in You

27 11 2013

(This is a great addendum to today’s post. I didn’t want to save it for another day…enjoy!)

Because we aren’t omniscient (all-knowing), we don’t know how our relationships will wind up; therefore we believe we need to take them in hand and determine how each person must function for us. We may not share them with the other person, but we will, nonetheless, have expectations that we want met by each individual we know.

The closer he or she is to us, the higher our expectations.

This opens us up to hurt, frustration, and disappointment.

For instance, you know from my other posts that I have no real expectations from any person who does not know Jesus. They are dead (spiritually), and dead people stink – they can’t help it. If their behavior stinks – it’s no biggie.

From my brothers and sisters in the Lord, however, I expect better behavior. I expect to be loved, nurtured, and encouraged. When their acts or words toward me are less than Christ-like, I get offended.

From my husband, my expectations are much higher. I expect him to always be loving, to always be engaged in whatever topic I choose, etc. When he does not live up to what I expected, I get very offended.

The expectations I have of my spiritual leaders (be they pastors, elders, teachers, or mentors) are probably the highest. I expect these “spiritual giants” to have a hotline to heaven, and be the most godly people I know. When they are less than perfect, I’m apt to be highly offended – and leave my current church and go find one where the leaders are truly “men (or women) of God.”

BTW – I haven’t found that church yet!

It doesn’t take long to discover that the other person does not necessarily want to play the role in which we have cast him or her. If we try to force our expectations on our spouse, for instance, he or she could feel trapped and angry – or guilt and shame for not measuring up.

They are not free to be who God created them to be,

and we judge them for not being who we want them to be for us.

Setting expectations for others then, is to “love” for the sake of getting what I want from that person. It is conditional, dependent upon their ability to satisfy my demands. This certainly is not the agape love Jesus desires us to show to one another.

Expectancy, on the other hand, looks forward to growing in unity and intimacy with others. Without the “rules” of expectation, each person is free to grow and “become.” We are free of the bondage of another person’s list of “oughts” and “shoulds.”

This kind of relationship requires trust in God’s ability to continue to transform and develop each party. Without faith that God will meet the needs we can’t get met elsewhere, we are forced to control those around us and try to wring from them the love, acceptance, and grace we long for.

I discovered this the hard way in my own marriage. I had a very long list of expectations for my husband. Where he fell short, I criticized, manipulated, cried, and was a royal pain. At the same time, he also had a long list of expectations for me, and had his own methods of trying to extract the behaviors he wanted from me.

I was angry and hurt that he seemed to have no interest in meeting my demands. He was angry and hurt that I wouldn’t do things his way. In less than three years, we were separated and talking about divorce – no big surprise there!

The number of relationships I’ve ended due to unmet expectations is countless. No doubt, I am not alone in this.

But what about God? Does He have expectations for us? If so, have we met them? or is He disappointed with us – with you?

Let’s consider what we know about God:

He IS omniscient. He knows exactly who we are becoming. He’s also never caught off guard – “Oh dear! I didn’t see that coming. Now what am I going to do?”

He is patient – and content to take His time fashioning each one into a unique masterpiece, according to His plan. We are His poema. Study Scripture, and you will discover that there isn’t a single needless word or bit of information in all the Bible. Ditto for us. Every bit of it – every experience – becomes a word in His poetry – which is the story being written of our life.

He is faithful – and does not stop until He has completed His work in us.

He does not commit Himself to man – He knows our hearts.

He has compassion on us. He knows our frame, and remembers that we are dust.

Go outside and pick up a handful of dirt. How great are your expectations from that dirt? Will you end up disappointed in the end?

Hardly.

Yes, there are commands – by which we can better know God’s nature, and thereby become more like Him. (i.e. “Do not lie” – God does not lie; “Do not commit adultery” – God is faithful, etc.).

But what does He expect from us? Nothing. He knows the end from the beginning. He didn’t expect us to do one thing – only to have us do something totally different and random.

If you “get” this, you will “hear” the sound of chains breaking and falling to the floor – especially if you’ve bought into the lie that you’ve let God down.

Here it is:

GOD IS NOT DISAPPOINTED IN YOU !

Never has been, never will be.

No wonder they call the Gospel “Good News!” Tell someone about it!!

Lord,

The idea that we ever “held you up” in the first place is absurd. You need nothing from us. We were made from the dirt of the ground, and have nothing that was not first given to us from Your generous hand. Help us to fully grasp that You are not disappointed in us. After all, every day of our lives was recorded when as yet there were none of them. Thank You for loving us with Your everlasting love and drawing us to Yourself with cords of kindness. Help us to completely rest in that love.

In turn, Father, help us to extend Your kind of love to others wherever we meet them. Forgive us for enslaving our loved ones, for trying to play “god” to them, defining who they could be according to our desires and wishes.

Thank You so much for setting us free from the belief that we are a continual disappointment to You. Help us to walk out our lives in light of this truth. May we be forever changed because of this revelation from You.

I love You!

\ 🙂 /

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16 responses

27 11 2013
AdjustedSails

amen! as i like to tell ppl, u haven’t let God down b/c u were never holding Him up. HE upholds US with HIS righteous right hand. amen! 🙂

27 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

11 05 2013
Ann

I love the sound of chains hitting the floor with a big “clank”. This is a great post. What freedom He has bought for us. Now to remember to live in it 🙂 Blessings!

11 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

That’s my most favorite sound in the whole world!
Happy Mother’s Day!
\o/

4 05 2013
codedjeannie

God is good all the time! Stay blessed and happy! 🙂

4 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

YES HE IS!!!!!!

4 05 2013
codedjeannie

Amen! 🙂

4 05 2013
inthepottershands988

So true! I struggle sometimes with expectations of my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. At least the ones closest to me. I expect that they should know the difference between following the flesh and following the Holy Spirit, but the truth is even if we do know the difference we still chose to follow the flesh at times. When we do, we all hope that people will show us grace and not condemnation. We want people to correct us in love. We should show the same grace toward others who fail to follow the Lord perfectly. None of us follow Him perfectly. We all mess up.

4 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

Easier said than done sometimes, though! I’m working on this one myself.

\o/

4 05 2013
Kevin

This is so true, the closest ones to us and the ones who we believe should be this way or that way, these are the ones that can trip us up every time. It helps me to understand that Jesus said,’who are my… and then he said… those who do the word are my mother and sister and brother.’ that helped me abundantly because I know how the word works and have learned to separate the fleshly or stinking works of those I love from the works that they do through the word. This really helped me to see clearly and simply reject the fleshly attitudes and failures in loved ones and still embrace them because I know the word is in them and they simply chose to act out of fleshly wisdom instead of the word. Because of this, I have found a desire to encourage those who disappoint me, in-spite of the evil they sometimes do, knowing that I can water the word in their hearts with love and keep the bond of love. After all, I am just as capable of being both God like and man like, depending on the day and the trials. Great post!

I don’t know if you understand this at all, I should do a post cause not enough space here to fully explain. 🙂

4 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

You’re right – I can’t wait to read your post. 😉

I’ll be watching for it.
\o/

3 05 2013
GetWithTheProgramPpl

I needed to read this!:-)

3 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

So glad!

Grace and peace to you.
\ 🙂 /

3 05 2013
GetWithTheProgramPpl

Same to you…xx

3 05 2013
K Cutler

Wow! Such great timing for me to hear this! I’ve been fighting the bitterness of unmet expectations for a few months and this really is freeing truth. Thank you 🙂

3 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

I’m so glad. This has been a major issue for me – for years. You’ll be happy to know that the Lord got me up at midnight to talk to me about this so I could pass the information on to you! 😉 . Well, okay, not just for you – I needed to hear it too.

I loved your Zombabies post. Hope all goes well and you get the position…and they don’t turn out to be ankle-biters!

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