Wednesday Wisdom

It is easy to get so caught up in what we think is right that we push for our "right" without thinking of the feelings of others.

Expectations are at the root of disappointment. We expect our spouse to be sensitive and loving, we expect our children to be obedient and respectful, and we expect our friends to be supportive and understanding.

When we interact with people at our job or in the community, we expect that they will act with integrity and treat us kindly.

The trouble isn't with the expectations that we have for others, but in the level of those expectations. We always want our spouse to be sensitive and loving (even when we aren't), we always want our children to be obedient and respectful (again, even when we aren't), etc., etc.

Our expectations for the behavior and response of others are much higher than for ourselves. We judge others by their actions, but we judge ourselves by our intentions. If you don't think so, ask yourself if you have ever said to someone, "Well, that's not what I meant," when they've told you that you hurt them.

Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest, said:

"We are not true to one another as facts; we are true only to our ideas of one another."

Have you been hurt by someone you love? Has someone offended you? Were you surprised? Maybe it is time to examine how you see those around you. Are your expectations motivated by a desire to do God's will, or are your motives selfish? Sometimes we use people to get our self-worth, and we are crushed when they fail us.

Jesus interacted with many people, no matter what their status in society. He loved them all, but he did not put His trust in them. Jesus only put His trust in Father God, because He knew what people are really like (John 2:24-25).  This freed Him to love others without being surprised by their response.