Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Why Expecting Less of Others Keeps Us Happy

My friend Cecil Murphey says, “If I expect certain behavior that I don’t get, I can become angry. Or I can change my expectations.”

I might spend half a days’ wages to buy a gift for someone, expecting them to rave about it and display it in a prominent place in their home. When they give it to a neighbor or simply don’t praise it as much as I want, do I tell them how much they've hurt me, and secretly vow to never give them another gift?
I can create a lovely meal, expecting my husband to “ummm” and “ahhhh” while he eats it. If he barely says a word, do I pout or accuse him of not caring about me?

If I work my hiney off on a project at work, expecting my boss to praise me and he doesn't even notice, do I shrug it off and realize that I’m working for Jesus’ praise, or do I draw attention to my labors?
This is a lesson I’m still learning, after more than five decades on this globe. If we have certain expectations of others that only God can fulfill, we set ourselves up for trouble.  People can help God fill up our emotional gas tanks. But if we look to people instead of God, we will always be disappointed. Read that again.

Only God can make dreams come true. That’s why I need to look to him to fill me up, make me feel special, and meet all my needs. Because He can. He’s the only one who can. 

Have you learned the secret of asking Jesus to fill up your emotional gas tank in his own ways, so you won't expect too much of people?


  1. So true. It's only in Him that we can find true satisfaction and peace. All else will be a cheap imitation.

  2. Replies
    1. Lovely photo of a present at the top, btw. Gorgeous colors!

  3. Someone once told me expectation is premeditated resentment. So true that we need to look to God always. I recently finally GOT what it meant to surrender and blogged about it. It is so freeing to surrender to Him and really put Him first!

  4. You started with my quote and make it a great commentary. . Great job, Jeanette, and you blessed me as I read it.

  5. I'm with you Jeanette. I'm still learning.

  6. Hi Jeanette! This is a 'practice makes perfect' thing for me. Yes, I know that only God can fill my needs. But...I can still hope that people will appreciate my efforts. I hope I can get better as time goes on (yes, over five decades for me too!), and with his splashes of grace, I will!

  7. This hits right in the heart, Jeanette. I'm still learning too. I'm getting better at not allowing myself to feel hurt. It'a a lifelong lesson. Wonderful post!

  8. Jeanette: A dear friend has the gem of a ministry idea that she wishes to see started. She has asked me to write the intro letter to the women,recently widowed, for whom the new ministry group will be designed. The support group should have those women in the group steering it. I find your words here timely. Neither she nor I are in that circumstance, yet. But we both have had close calls with husbands and their illnesses. PLEASE PRAY FOR US.

  9. Jeanette, just purchased two bedside lamps for my daughter in law. Ans I KNOW she loves them as she chose them herself.... but isn't know I was going back for them as a gift. I KNOW she is happy and glad she has them - I still waited for the WOW mum thanks- and realised - she IS thankful I don't need to hear her say it. Funny, then a fe hours later I am reading this blog thinking - Yes, nail on the head stuff. Thanks Jeanette. I am thankful to God for the opportunity He gave me to provide something for my daughter in law she wasn't able to do herself. Need to learn to turn it around more often.

    1. Excuse spelling errors please. Using son's laptop.... grrrrr!

  10. Hi Jen -

    I think one reason we feel let down when there's a big event like a wedding, Christmas gathering, book signing, is we're looking for it to boost our self-esteem. When it doesn't happen the way we want, the day/event is ruined for us. I'm finding that when I spend time praying before an occasion, my focus is where it should be: on Him and serving those I love.



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