Dissecting an expectation…

In sixth grade my parents got me a biology kit. My 12-year-old friends all got chemistry kits, but I think my parents were afraid I might blow up the house, so I received a biology kit–complete with shrimp-like creatures, fruit flies, and a frog to dissect. Perhaps you remember dissection from your high school biology class. You cut, you observe, you make notes, and then you start the whole process again.

In relationships we have expectations. We all have these expectations: whether parent to child, husband to wife, neighbor to neighbor, or employer to employee. Dissecting the expectation helps me understand what’s going on in my heart, and how the Spirit of God wants to change it.

Most expectations are unspoken. Like the inside of the frog, nobody knows what’s going on in there unless you open em’ up. So let’s open up the expectation, discover what prompts it, and where it will lead.

A desire becomes a demand.
I think that would make me happy.

A demand gets expressed as a need.
I think I can’t be happy without it.

A perceived need sets up an expectation.
I think if you loved me you’d give it to me.

An expectation leads to disappointment.
I think you don’t really love me.

Disappointment leads to punishment.
I think I’ll make you pay for not loving me.

Punishment leads to bitterness.
I think I’ll never forget how much you hurt me.

These are six progressive steps, and they reveal just how deadly expectations can be to the growth of a relationship. Jesus said,

Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).

What if our only expectation was the desire that Jesus had developed? We simply expected to serve God and serve others better…


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