Tuesday, January 5, 2016

How Changing Your Expectations Can Help You Avoid Disappointment

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 six 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. Yes, yes, YES!

    Also, it puts a lot of pressure on someone if you expect them to make you happy.

  2. As Sandi put it...Yes, yes YES! A rough childhood left me needy for any attention. I tried for years to please people. I waited for that validation that never came... Then I met Jesus. What a change! He is the love of my life!

  3. Oh I can so agree with the above. And yes yes yes, I too have had 6 decades experience and am still learning the 'tricks of the trade' Jeanette. A message like your just helps remind me to keep on keeping on!

  4. Hi Jeanette! Having expectations certainly can set me up for defeat. Who knows what God has in store? I don't know what He would want, so I just go with my gut. And my gut usually wants to be praised and noticed. Not a great way to go.

    I like the idea of changing my expectations. Or just trying not to have any at all. Trust that God will take care of the situation, and just move on ahead. That's what I need to do!
    Happy Wednesday! And congrats on your Amazon best seller!

  5. Jeanette: Yes, Yes, YES! I spent a goodly part of my life trying to please people. Guess what! It made me miserable. I always looked forward to events as I wanted them to be. I had to learn to trust God for the outcome. But I am so much happier since I stopped trying to control things.

  6. This lesson has been one that I am constantly learning, and really came out last year when I was told to not look at man, but to look up to God. Someone once told me 'expectation is premeditated resentment.' I like that. I strive to do my best and just believe others are doing their best as well, and the intention is not to hurt or disappoint.

  7. This is true. I just saw a reminder today that you can't work for the favor of others AND for the favor of God. It's one or the other. I know where the peace lies, but it's a difficult thing to maintain, isn't it? Thanks for this.


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