You’ve known them. I sure have. There are some people who are wound just a bit too tight. How do you relax around people like that? How do you relax around people who have a way of communicating to most everyone around them that they just don’t measure up?
A lot of us are looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places. We ratchet up our expectations and stay constantly disappointed. Worse yet, we put pressure on others and become overly demanding of the people around us.
A few examples:
Our Marriages–I have known people who seemed to expect marriage to satisfy the deepest needs of their hearts. They were forever putting pressure on their spouses (who in the cases that I am thinking about were already seriously trying to be "good husbands/good wives"). The pressure was so great that the marriage was no longer fun or joyful. Rather, there was constant frustration. The emphasis was on performance instead of enjoying a love relationship.
Our Children–I have known children who rarely smiled or did anything with spontaneity. Why? They were under so much pressure from home to preform. On the court or athletic field. In the classroom. (With mom/dad running interference for them if anyone got in their child’s way.) I just wonder about such a child who lives under that kind of pressure to perform.
Our Bodies— Read Mike Cope’s excellent piece as he reflects on an article which discusses junior high students being allowed to get breast implants. Imagine the pressure of having to have the perfect body.
Our other Relationships–I think that I have known people who had expectations of people that were just too high. It’s one thing to have high standards and to pursue excellence in a certain task. It quite another matter to make such demands of people, that they constantly feel under great pressure to try to measure up and not disappoint you. Of course, if you know a person long enough, you will probably be disappointed at some point. There is only one model of perfection and that is Jesus himself. The rest of us are flawed, sinful, human creatures who will always be imperfect even as we grow in holiness.
Real satisfaction will never be found in marriage, being a parent, or in having the right body or anything else–on this earth. Real satisfaction will only be found in God. In his perfection, I can find what I need for the deepest needs in my life. Only then will I experience satisfaction.