Those Darn Expectations!

Every day we set them for ourselves and others and they are also set for you by others.  They are sometimes really low and sometimes really high but rarely are there none.  They judge, define and always create some level of anticipation.  They are a part of every relationship, every situation, every dream and really every thought that comes out of our brain.  They are (cue the booming drum sound Bom-Bom-Bom) – Expectations!

Expectations are constant! Whether we want to admit it or not, we set them with everything.  Want proof?  Ok, you set one for this blog post.  See, I told you so.  Expectations are how we prepare ourselves or protect ourselves from the unknown.  They give us the ability to predict or pretend the possible verdict on a relationship or situation.  We may or may not be able to predict or pretend accurately depending if we have past results to go from or not.  

Can I tell you that unrealistic or unrealized expectations may be the hidden issue with many broken relationships and with the outcome of many bad situations?   Just saying! 

We go at every relationship and situation with our own set of expectations and I don’t know about you but often I find that things rarely meet the expectations I set for them.  Some exceed them and some don’t.  For those that I set really high expectations on, I find that those very rarely get met.  For those that I set very low expectations usually, for some reason, exceed what I expected.   

I can really get into the phycology of expectations but let’s digress a little and allow me to show you were expectations can be a snare for you.  

1)    High expectations of others are unrealistic – let’s be honest, unless we really know someone very well can we set expectations for them and even then, it’s still a guessing game. This sets you up for an over-promised, under-delivered type scenario.  I do, however, think that many people do rise to the occasion, especially if it’s been communicated that the expectations of them have been set high.  My opinion of course! 

2)    Low expectations of others – When we do this, we enable others to meet those expectations.  That’s not good for anyone involved.  It may be more realistic but it’s still not the favorable response.  It’s the safer bet since it sets up to be the under-promised, over-delivered type scenario…but it still isn’t a good start to a relationship or situation. 

3)    Unless you have total control of the outcome, then your expectations will probably not be met.  I’ve rarely had complete control of any situation because in most situations, they involve someone else.   That changes the game and the potential outcome of the situation.  Control of situations maybe, control of others, I think not!

I think I could write a book on expectations but then I would have high expectations of everyone to reading it and since I can’t control that then I would be let down. Of course, then I might have low expectations of it selling well and then I spiral out of control trying to manage my expectations.  

Somebody stop me! 


PS – sorry no scripture references in this particular blog.  Truthfully, with God, I know what to expect. He's going to make it all good in the end.  Now that's a high expectation that I can count on!!!!

Brian Holt was called into and served in children's ministry for over 20 years. Brian had the privilege to lead in children's ministries ranging from mega-church to plant church size. Brian changed roles in his church and now serves as the Care Pastor at Rock Creek Church in Prosper, Texas overseeing the Care and Support ministries of the church. Brian has been married to his lovely wife Amy for over 24 years and they have 5 amazing kids. Brian's passion is to see every man, woman and child fall in love with Jesus and become one of his devout followers, transforming their lives in the process to be more like Him everyday.