I heard a quote once while I was taking a course on “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” It comes Ronnie Tan who said, “People don’t fail you; it is your own expectations that do.”
By now, I will assume that most of you have been inundated with news commentary and political opinions based on what medical professionals believe we should do, what economic professionals believe we should do, and how the church ought to respond.
One thing that I’ve learned over the past few weeks and will probably continue observing throughout the next six months to the rest of my life is that it is impossible to please everyone and, because of that, someone is always going to be disappointed. Some people will inevitably believe that you have failed them. However, as Ronnie Tan points out, it is our expectations that fail us.
Expectations are pre-mediated resentments. Think about that. When things don’t go our way, when we don’t get what we want or what we think we deserve, we get pouty and we can start building resentments. This is toxic not only to us, but in the relationships we have with people around us. We start treating people the way we think they should be treated rather than how Jesus would treat them. We miss what Jesus tells us in Luke 6:31, “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”
With the controversies surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic, why not just have a low expectation and pray for the best. Regarding the people that disappoint you, maybe re-evaluate your own expectations and determine if they are truly fair or not. Often times when I’m disappointed with a situation or a person, it’s because my expectations are way off. Have you ever watched National Lampoon’s Vacation series? Its wrought with failure after failure to meet Clark’s expectations and eventually leads to a nervous breakdown every time.
Christ wants you to be free of resentments and un-realistic expectations. Christ wants you to be free to enjoy the now. Stop trying to control the future and put your trust in Him. If you can do that, you will be on your way to total serenity.
- Pastor Jeremy