“Lord, I repent of it all: the expectations that kill relationships and the entitlement that steals all joy.” ~Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces
Expectations. Entitlement. I certainly struggle with one or both of these frequently!
It’s easy to build up expectations in our mind, things that we assume others will do or say, or a certain way that we think events will unfold. When we expect something that doesn’t happen, we get disappointed and perhaps become disgruntled.
Sometimes our expectations are unrealistic. I think as women we often put expectations on our poor husbands that they don’t even know about! Rather than explaining to them what we’d like, we just expect them to know how to please us. It could happen with friends or family members as well – we expect certain behavior and when it doesn’t happen, we let that affect the relationship.
Who will never let us down? Only one person can meet our every expectation. “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” Psalm 62:5
Let’s let go of our expectations of other people and seek instead to serve and give to them.
Living with an attitude of entitlement is another pitfall. If I’m always looking to receive what I think I’m due or worthy of, always wanting to make sure I get “mine,” I can’t be content. I easily lose my joy because I don’t feel like I’m getting the good things I deserve.
The antidote for entitlement begins with gratitude. Let me be grateful for what I have. Whether it’s material gain or public recognition or a promotion at work, I should realize that these things will never bring lasting joy and that God is enough. “I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” Psalm 16:8-9
Let’s ask the Lord to help us let go of expectations and entitlement and focus our minds on Him and all of His blessings!