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  • John Whitehead

Expectations and Disappointments

In life we are constantly setting expectations for ourselves and others. From our perspective, these expectations are always right and reasonable.


The problem is people may not meet or even consider our expectations of them.


The result is usually disappointment, because we desire for someone else to understand, share our point of view and meet our expectations.


This is true of all of us and to deny it validates my point.


You see, you and I are at the root of all our “expectations and disappointments”.


This does not mean they are wrong or unrealistic. It simply means we are the ones who are disappointed when our expectations go unmet.


The reason it is important to realize, acknowledge and understand this about us is because “expectations and disappointments” are at the forefront of broken relationships and can lead to a hardening of our hearts.


In fact, bitterness and resentment are the fruit of a heart focused on itself.


What can we do to avoid this self-focus and resulting bitterness? I believe we should learn to give one another a break. We should do so, because you and I are always going to fall short of someone else’s expectations. Just as they are going to fall short of ours.


It is what we do with our disappointments that matters.


If we can agree we are the most important thing in our world, we will become aware of the effects of our unmet expectations and the subsequent disappointments.


When we do, perhaps we will learn not to allow our “expectations and disappointments “to become a barrier or hindrance in our relationships with others.


This takes self-discipline and self-denial, neither of which are comfortable nor easy. The beauty of this consideration is nothing worth doing or having is.


The question I am asking myself, is having a relationship with others and loving them more important to me than my “expectations and disappointments “?


Maybe you need to ask this question of yourself too. If you do, you might as well expect to be disappointed with your response. I know I was in mine.


1 John 4:11, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.



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