I found a definition of a phrase today and it made me stop and think of something God has recently shown me. This definition said expectations of others could be defined as planned disappointments.
Now I am certainly not saying that all expectation is bad – quite the contrary. Expectation is good in most cases; however, this past week God has shown me that when I put my expectations on other people it is NOT good. It is not good for me or for them.
I am not talking about when you give someone your word to do something, of course we expect them to keep their word and we should keep our word, I am talking about expectations we put on others.
You see, I had something happen one day when I was expecting someone to do a certain thing. When they didn’t do it, I was disappointed. I was disappointed in them and the situation and it caused me a lot of grief. I knew something was wrong in my heart because it affected me so strongly. It just so happened to be a day when I was spending my day with God in prayer. I was praying about different things, not that person, just other things.
As I prayed over certain situations, God began to change the subject on me and tell me to release that person from all my expectations. I began to pray and release that person from all my expectations. The more I prayed about this, the greater the anointing became. I knew that I knew that I was the one in the wrong and I had misplaced my expectations on them and it had put them in bondage. I released them.
Each time the situation would come to mind over the next week, I would pray and say, ‘God I have released them from all my expectations and I thank you that you keep them free!’
It is a truth that whatever you focus on, grows and gains power. I was spending way too much time focusing on my expectations of this other person and it was causing my disappointment to grow. Frankly, it was quite ridiculous now that I find myself on the other side of it.
As I was thinking on this a few days later, I came across a quote by Dennis Prager, it said; Gratitude is the key to happiness and anything that undermines gratitude must undermine happiness. And nothing undermines gratitude as much as expectations. The more expectations you have, the less gratitude you will have.
Oh, my goodness. This is what I saw in myself. When this person disappointed me, because they didn’t do what I expected…I was ungrateful. However, just days later the most amazing thing happened.
After I prayed and released them and refused to have my own expectations of them, something changed in them. It took me a few days to put it all together but I finally realized what had happened.
You see, a few days after my time in prayer and releasing them from expectations, I saw this person. Immediately I realized there was something different about them, a softness, a kindness and a gentle spirit about them. A few days later I saw them again, this time they were much more at peace and even did some things that far surpassed anything I could have asked or imagined. I was amazed and I began to seek God about this change.
He showed me that while I was putting my expectations on them, I had put them in bondage to those expectations and they simply couldn’t meet those expectations. They were as frustrated as I was and most importantly, they were bound up, they were not free. However, when I released them, they were free to be who GOD created them to be in every situation and that freedom had brought them great peace. And that great peace was causing them to excel in who they are and who they were created to be.
Oh! my goodness, what a lesson it was for me. I am so grateful to God for showing me this. I just had to share it with you today.
Matthew 7:12 says; ‘all things whatsoever you want men to do to you, do even so to them.’ In other words, ‘treat people the way you want them to treat you.’ I don’t know about you, but I don’t want others to put their expectations on me, especially now that I realize the bondage it puts me in. I want to be free to be all that God destined me to be. Therefore, this is how I need to treat others as well.
I don’t know if this makes any sense to you today but I pray it does. I have found that I have misplaced expectations on many people around me, therefore I have spent a great deal of time releasing those people and refusing to put expectations on them…in doing that, I have set them free and set me free as well. I am aware that what I focus on grows, therefore I am growing my peace, my joy and my happiness by releasing my expectations and growing my gratefulness.
Perhaps you have someone in your life who disappoints you. Could it be just as the definition said, ‘planned disappointment?’ Could it be that you are setting them up for failure by expecting to the degree that it puts them in bondage? Could it be that you have placed YOUR expectations on them without seeking God for direction? If so, release them from your expectations and begin to pray that they will meet GOD’s expectations…it will bring you much peace…at least it has for me. And it will bring them freedom and peace as well.
We are all human. None of us are perfect, but I do believe most people do the best they can at that moment, therefore let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, let’s believe the best in them and most of all, let’s give them the freedom to find their own way in God. Today, let’s release them from any bondages we hold over them. And then, let’s let God be God in their life. He is a God that can be trusted…even with those we love the most.
Prayer for Today: Father, today I ask you to forgive me for any ungodly expectations I have on people around me. I release them from all my expectations and I ask you to set them free today. Set them free to be all you created them to be. Set them free to excel in you God. Set them free and bring great peace into their life. This I pray, in Jesus name. Amen.