For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men. (2 Corinthians 8:21)
Lately, the thoughts of expectations have been clouding my mind....bubbling over into frustration & questioning. This person expects this of me.....the other expecting something else, one more expecting me to go here or do this, act this way or say this one thing. It's frustrating. It bothers me when I feel that people expect much out of me....one way or another. Expectations of people can be good, challenging them to live up to things greater than their own self imaginings. It can also be a weight, dragging a person into continuous performance mode in which they are always doing what other people expect and not looking at who they really would be if they did their own thing. It seems that I also am one of those people who expects much out of the people who surround me. I expect that leaders will be good examples, I expect that teachers are knowledgeable, I expect that students are curious, I expect many things.....and yet because of that, I somehow believe that those same expectations are reflected back onto my life, and probably accurately so to some extent. It is then that I feel pressure, sinking into my soul, to ....be this way, know this thing, return this faster.... And being a person who really does not like to "be who everyone expects me to be," I sometimes do things that are opposite of what I want to do, because they're exactly what you EXPECT me to do. In high school, I was the pastor's kid....people had certain expectations about me because of that, and I never thought that was fair because it wasn't MY choice to be the child of a minister. So, in defiance to the "expectations," I would say certain things, act certain ways that I really didn't WANT to do, but I did it anyway to say "see, I'm really not that good," or "there's more to me than you think." When really deep down, I probably WAS a lot of what people assumed about me, but wasn't confident enough in it to stand up for myself. Lately, it feels that this type of thing is beginning to cycle around....people expect certain things and because I don't feel "worthy" or "capable" or "motivated," I choose to do the opposite. Take longer on an answer, show up late to an event, cancel on a close friend for no good reason. It's kinda like the passage in Romans, chapter 7:15-25 that says "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
So can we change this ourselves? The expectation would be yes....we are powerful, strong, confident people who have the ability to change how we act. Yet, that is a worldly expectation that gives US power that should be God's to yield where He chooses. Therefore, think about the following & pray with me as we struggle to be confident dependents on Christ: I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)