When you have expectations, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. – Ryan Reynolds
This quote was meant to be glib and humorous, but it really does ring true doesn’t it? When I expect something from others, they usually disappoint me in some way. I expect my kids to always adore me, follow my every word, behave the exact way I want them to when I want them to. Any parent can attest to how that ends up.
The easy thing would be to lower my expectations, and then I wouldn’t be disappointed. Maybe if I expected my kids to do those things some of the time, I wouldn’t be disappointed but I would be doing a disservice to my children. By expecting them to live up to a higher standard I am pushing them to be better and to expect more from themselves as well.
When Jesus came to this world, His chosen people (the Jews) had very different expectations of Him.
- They expected Him to come as a glorious king ≠ He was born in a manger
- They expected Him to rule through military might ≠ He laid down His life for us
- They expected Him to rebuild a physical temple for them to worship in ≠ He brought the temple to dwell in us
- They expected Him to save the Jews ≠ He came to save everyone
Likewise, our expectations of what Jesus should be are vastly different from the reality of who He is. It’s not that He doesn’t or can’t live up to our expectations; it’s that our expectations are often wrong. Yet, because of our expectations, when Jesus doesn’t come through like we think He should, we’re disappointed.
We think Jesus should act one way when His glory is better represented in another.
There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. – Proverbs 16:25
God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. – Psalms 18:30
This Christmas season I would encourage you to pray for Jesus to open your eyes to a part of Himself that you may have been blinded to by your expectations. You could be missing out on a much bigger blessing.