Last night was a little weird. This was the first Friday night of the high school football season and we were not there. With both of our children no longer at home, we didn’t go. That was the first time we missed an opening night in many years.
I came across a great line in the September 2005, Christianity Today. Peter Nelson in an article entitled, "Impractical Christianity" suggests that Christians ought to be candid about who we really are.
This is who we are, prone to wander, slow to learn, still in process, far from having arrived,’ grateful for mercy…so don’t expect anything else.
Now this is a realistic picture of who we really are as a church.
I mention this because we continue to frustrate one another with our expectations of one another.
- The college student who now sees his home church as "missing it" because he has discovered the way things ought to be.
- Those who are the constant critics of the church leaders (without coming alongside them to help).
- Those who stay frustrated with other Christians because they just don’t measure up to what they should be.
- The church leader who believes that he must hide his life from the church out of his own fear. Publicly, he communicates that everything is "Fine."
In recent years, I have become aware of a real weakness in my expectations. For a longtime, I expected far too little from God and far to much from others. Expecting far tool little from God hurt my prayer life. (After all, it God really doesn’t do much and it is all up to me anyway, I’m probably not going to be fervent in prayer).
Expecting far too much from others led to constant disappointment (and of course disappointment in myself as well).
I’m at a place now where my confidence in God is greater and I expect far more from him. His willingness to work in powerful ways is an act of grace. On the other hand, my expectations of people are lower. I am realizing that moments where people come through and where people do what they should are moments of grace.
And…by the way, the same goes for me.