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The Danger of Lowered Expectations

The other danger we want to warn you about is related to the first, and is found in lowering our expectations. When we are let down by our expectations, we very quickly learn to lower our expectations the next time. It’s a way in which we can avoid pain. Sometimes that’s wise, like when you wake up on your birthday and run to the driveway looking for that Mercedes. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Maybe you should have expected a few cards, some friends, and a cake, and then left room for joy and surprise if there was anything extra. Most of the time, though, our expectations are only misplaced, and when we lower them, or particularly when we hold negative expectations, we find evidence to prove ourselves right.
The thing is, there are still expectations we need to hold on to. We still need to expect love and respect from our spouse, we need to expect good behavior from our kids, we need to expect protection and good representation from our government, we need to expect honesty and integrity from our pastors. Without expectations, there are no standards to live up to—no goals to achieve—no hope for a better life. After all, God has expectations of us, and He makes them quite clear: “Do not covet . . . , do not commit adultery . . . , do not murder . . . , honor your father and mother . . . .” (Exodus 20)
In the midst of your expectations of others, however, it is critical that they not take priority over God in filling a need in your life. It is good and wise to expect things from others, but as soon as we start relying on those expectations for our self-worth, for our identity, for our motivation, or as a lifesource, we take from God the responsibility of being those things to us, and we will be fatally disappointed.

Lowering our expectations is an excuse, whether for ourselves or others, to live far from our potential and self-worth. And it’s even worse when we lower our expectations of God.

Continue to Expect Something Great ->
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