Dilemma of great expectations

I once asked a counselor what the major issues were that brought people to him. Without hesitation he said, “The root of many problems is broken expectations; if not dealt with, they mature into anger and bitterness.”

~ Joe Stowell, Our Daily Bread – Great Expectations ~

Expectation is the strong belief that something will happen or will be the case in the future. In the Christian life, there are some wonderful things we believe will happen that are promised blessings. These are wonderful expectations to hold to. However, there are those particular strong beliefs that we hold to and they never happen or be the case. These are broken expectations and cause serious dilemma in our own lives when they are not dealt with in an appropriate and healthy manner. However, many of us take on the nature of expectations, as well as hold others to those expectations we have established. This is not to say we steer clear from established expectations in our lives and in the lives of other people. However, what is being said here that too high of an expectation may lead one down the pathway of judgmental and critical perceptions of themselves and other people that become counter-productive and unhealthy.

Living an authentic Christian life becomes easy the more we turn our will and life over to our loving Heavenly Father and decide to follow the example of Jesus Christ. The key here is that Christ showed compassion with everyone he met – including the religious leaders of the day. Following the example of Christ, when we face broken expectations within ourselves or in other people – may we move to a more compassionate and empathetic understanding than one who is overtly critical and judgmental.

 This is important to understand, for in this life, we have available opportunities to allow ourselves to be vessels that draw all men unto Christ. Whether through our own act and away of living or the nature in which we serve other people and treat others as we desire to be treated. Shedding off the more benign expectations, we are better equipped to focus on the more established expectations of our faith in Jesus Christ. These expectations motivate us to share the message of the Gospel to those who find themselves entrenched in their own broken expectations.

Let us not become overtaken by the bitterness and anger of those broken expectations where our own faith is jeopardized.


2 thoughts on “Dilemma of great expectations

  1. I am beginning a spiritual journey that is profoundly influenced by Ignatian spirituality. Ignatius said that we should let go of all desires that do not ultimately aid us in our communion with Christ. I see expectations as desires, and often they are desires that are subconscious and difficult to pin down. Nevertheless, we have to be willing to let them go for the sake of following Christ! Thanks for the post.


    1. Nathan –

      You are welcome and thank you for replying and commenting on this article. I am also venturing out in a new spiritual journey where it is about living an authentic Christian life, especially in these times.


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