Friday, January 04, 2008

Great Expectations

Our pastor, Carey Hardy, spoke to several men in our church this morning about expectations. He has been talking to us periodically about growing in our love and devotion for Christ. He explained that one thing that can throw water on the fire of our passion for God is having high expectations - high expectations of what we think our lives should be. That sounds negative at first, but what he means by this is that it can stifle joy if you have your expectations so high that when reality sets in we can get down, depressed, or respond in some other sinful way. This is ultimately an expression of anger towards God and his providence. Bibliclly, we call this idolatry. Ezekiel 14 calls these expectations idols of the heart. James, in chapters 1 and 4 of his letter, calls them lusts. You can know that this is happening when you respond sinfully when something doesn't go the way you expected.

How do we fight against this? Do we just set our expectations in life as low as possible so as to avoid disappointment? Do we just take the mindset that it is better to aim at the gutter to avoid failure? No. We focus on the fact that we don't deserve anything and, therefore, we should be very grateful for anything we get. Pride and ingratitude go together. Humility and gratitude go together.

We should set goals. We should have dreams. But in the end we must always add to our goals and dreams this sentiment: "if the Lord wills."

2 comments:

Mark said...

Vinnie:

Great post. Thanks.

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