I spend much more time than I’d like to admit trying to navigate other people’s expectations of me. In any given decision, responsibility, or scenario I wrestle with what it would mean to others for me to respond in a particular way. The truth is, I want others’ approval, a pat on the back, a ‘you go girl’ for every time I do exactly what people want, when they want it, and how they want it. This plays out in my friendships, with family, at work, in community involvement, and even within in the church.

It isn’t wrong to consider others in our decisions. After all, how we live and the choices we make often don’t just affect us; they affect those around us. It is wise and necessary to care for others in such a way that we are mindful of how we respond, what we say, and what we do. The bible even instructs us in these things.

Romans 14:17-19 “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you too. So then let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up”.

Philippians 2: 3-4 “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests but take interest in others too”.

However, when we live wrapped up in the expectations of others our lives become about performance and people pleasing. We suddenly find our confidence, our hope, and our joy blown about in the wind from circumstance to circumstance and person to person. We lose our identity in what others expect of us rather than in the freedom and love of Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:23 “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people”

Proverbs 29:25 “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety”.

I challenge us to examine our hearts and pray boldly that the Holy Spirit would reveal to each of us our true motivation. May we find joy, hope, value, and purpose not in the approval of others but in the everlasting approval found in Jesus’ sacrifice for us and His promises toward us.

One Response to “Expectations”

  1. Dianne perez says:

    Nicely written, Rushia

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