Have you ever experienced those moments where you said to yourself, but I deserve this or shouldn’t they have done this for me? It can be very easy to create expectations from people, and even to those we care about the most in our lives. We all make expectations for ourselves very easily, yet facing those unmet expectations can be hard to go through. Recently, I have been experiencing many unmet expectations with the relationships in my life. I was doing all that I could do be nice to those around me, yet their reactions did not meet the expectations I had of them. My friends did not respond to me the way I wanted, my family did not always react perfectly to the way I felt I deserved to be treated, my partner was not always there for me when I really needed him, and the list of disappointments just go on and on. I constantly told myself, why would they do this? Don’t I deserve something better?
Does all this sound familiar to you? Like you, I battled with many unmet expectations and it was just recently where I found the truth in how to deal with those disappointments. As I was sharing to God the feelings that bugged my heart I felt God tell me,
Who told you that these expectations were even right to expect in the first place?
And from there I realized that all my expectations stemmed from my own selfish ambitions. My expectations were only made to satisfy myself and not others. I felt that I deserved to be treated this way, yet God’s truth opened my eyes to how Jesus himself lived. Jesus did not come to this world expecting on what the world should do for him, rather he came to this world expecting himself to do what he should do for this world.
Out of all people who exist, Jesus deserves the best treatment. However, Jesus did not come here expecting others to treat him like a king, instead, he came here expecting himself to serve others. He expected himself to live a self-less life and give love without expecting anything back. Matthew 20:28 says, “Just as the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”Jesus came to this world to set us a perfect example of how we should live. My hope is that we all face our lives with an attitude just like Jesus- an attitude of what can I do for others.
Instead of setting expectations on what others should do for us, let us set our expectations to what we should do for others. See life not from how much we deserve to get, but on how much we should give. The foundation of our expectations should come from God and to serve others. Jesus gave his own life for our own ransom, so we owe it to Jesus for the salvation he gave to us. But because he loves us, he does not expect anything back from us. God wants us to be like Jesus; to serve others only because of love and with no expectations tied to it. Even if we are treated in a way we don’t deserve to be treated, react like Jesus and simply serve because he expects us to give a self-less love. Serve not because we deserve it, but serve because we want to show God’s love.
Jesus heard the cries of those who were in need. He healed the blind, spoke life to others, and dedicated his life in serving others. His response to others was always “What do you want me to do for you?” (Matthew 20:32). Jesus spent his whole life serving others to simply show his love. Even until this day, Jesus will always be there for you with open arms. Let’s be like Jesus and have an attitude in our relationships to others with “What do you want me to do for you?”
I encourage you all today to ask Jesus to open your eyes to the things you cannot see; to see the expectations that do not stem from what God wants in us. 1 Peter 1:24-25 says. “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” This verse shows us that we cannot expect anything from people. Even the good and beautiful things that people have will eventually fall and fail, but God will never fail or fall. God never intended for us to depend our expectations on people because people are unstable; we are like the grass that withers and the flowers that fall. Our best will never be good enough for others, but God’s best stands perfect and still.
Set your expectations to God and only God. Give God your unmet expectations and replace it with a heart that focuses on serving others. Let God be responsible for the expectations that you have for him, and let yourself be responsible with the expectations that you have in this world. When you do this, you will find yourself satisfied, making your unmet expectations met. God has the ability to take away all your unmet expectations with his faithful promises. So remember, we do not have to deal with our unmet expectations.