God’s Expectations vs. Man’s Expectations

God’s Expectations vs. Man’s Expectations

There are major differences between our expectations and God’s expectations. God’s expectations are objective and real. Our expectations are subjective and can be mistaken.

God's expectations are different than mans.

God’s expectations are different than mans.

An expectation is a personal desire or belief relative to future events. God’s expectations can never be disappointed because He has full knowledge of the future. Our expectations, however, may be disappointed because we have no knowledge of the future.

When we have expectations, specifically in regard to other people’s behavior, we risk becoming an unrighteous judge(James 4:11-12). If others fail to meet our expectations, and we become unhappy about it,we risk disappointment, which can have an impact on our joy (Philippians 4:4). Expecting other people to behave in certain ways (even if God does expect such behavior) risks putting us in the position of making our subjective beliefs the standard of others’ behavior.

It isn’t the case that others must meet our expectations. They must meet God’s expectations.  (We are not co-standards with God!)  Let God be true! (Romans 3:4). So, it is best to generally avoid forming expectations about others’ behavior, and let God’s expectations stand on their own. My task is to love my neighbor (Matthew 22: regardless of how he behaves toward me–to be gracious to him even as Jesus was gracious to those who killed him (1 Peter 2:18-25).

Having said that, there are some situations that call for us to form expectations. As a father, I let my children know what are my expectations for their behavior. I also let them know that these expectations come from God, not me, and that God has empowered me to train them (Ephesians 6:1-2). Even so, my expectations must be holy (separate from sinful desires and especially envy and pride) or they will produce unholiness in my life.

God bless you, and I love you.

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