In that moment I could not believe the words coming out of my sister’s mouth. I was baffled because all I could see is the baggage of disappointments that I carry around as a result of the expectations I put on others. My sister made me realize that the view I had on people was mostly based on past experiences, what I listen to and what I watch.
The word “expectation” means looking forward to an event as about to happen. When we have expectations we have the power to decide whether they are good or bad, so this event as about to happen is in our power to decide how we want it to be. The disappointments we get when the event happens are based on our choices. So today, we are going to talk about some of the main areas of our lives where expectations either good or bad have played a major role.
The world has taught us the expectations we must have when it comes to relationships, friendship and many other areas of our lives. We might not see these because they have become a part of us, a part of our culture and livelihood. The movies and shows we watch have been the major benefactors to the unrealistic expectation pandemic and also not forgetting the books sold. The movies and TV shows portray relationships and friendships in a certain way that even if it’s realistic or not it’s just entertainment at the end of the day. So sometimes when we get ideas from the stuff we watch we end up expecting real people to act like the ones who are just acting and it doesn’t go very well. The same goes for the novels we read, these books are meant to grip the reader and when we try to force people to act like a character in a book we end up with disappointments.
I will focus on two main areas that suffers severely due to our wrong expectation.
Friendships have been often portrayed as relationships where everything is just perfect. You are supposed to grow old with your best friend, nothing really changes and no one gets hurt but in reality friendships are actually ever evolving relationships as you grow together. No friendship is perfect and the reason why so many of us move on from great friendships is because of our expectations. We expect our friends to be perfect and by perfect I mean we expect them to do everything we think is right, that is everything we see as something a friend should do. But is this really how a friendship should be like? Toxic friends that want to bring harm to you are a whole other issue, those ones we should run without thinking. We flee from these kinds of people because they do not help us grow or build our lives in any positive way. So now you may be thinking, one person may consider certain behaviour toxic and the other may not, this may be true but as believers we should have the same standard that is based on the Bible. There is nothing new under the sun and so we are not the first people to get friends, however, how we treat our friends and how we should be treated should never be based on past experiences or the media. This should based on the Bible because no standard is higher than the one of the God who is all knowing.
Going back to the day my perception changed, after sitting for an hour watching a great relationship sermon I was excited to tell my sister who is in a relationship to watch it, I thought it would be good for her. Her reaction was simply, “I don’t want to watch it because I know I will get disappointed and frustrated whenever my partner doesn’t do things according to that sermon” this statement left me bewildered. I thought about it many times and I realised that our expectations also affect our relationships. We start doubting if this is the one for us because they are not doing what I know should be done. Some men and women reject certain people because of the expectations we have, you expect him to be rich, spiritually mature, tall, handsome, kind loving etc the standard that only Jesus himself can only meet. I am not saying you should not have standards but all I am saying is who and what is the source of your expectations?
God is all knowing and He is the only one who can judge therefore He is the only one worthy of telling us the kind of expectations we must have for each other. We must all endeavour to know God‘s view on every relationship we have with people whether be it, Friendships, parent-child relationship or whatever relationship we find ourselves in. The world‘s standard is not the standard we must live by so we should search in the Bible on how to be a better friend, parent, wife, child , student etc, by doing so we avoid missing out on blessings and we also learn how to treat other people.