“Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from him.” Psalm 62:5 CSB
We place expectations on people we should only place on God. We expect people to be perfect, but they aren’t. Only God is perfect. When we place unrealistic expectations on people, we get hurt. We are offended. Relationships suffer. The sad part is, we don’t even realize we expect people to be perfect, but yet we do. I was reminded of this the other day.
I was working on a project for school and I was looking for feedback before I turned it into my professor. I sent my draft to several people and asked them for their thoughts. Of all the people I sent it too, only 2 people responded. What was interesting was my reaction to the friends who didn’t respond. Some of them I had an easier time showing grace too than others. I recognized I had different expectations of different people. Why was I ok that so-and-so didn’t respond, but not ok that someone else didn’t? I also found some people waited to tell me when they saw me instead of responding back to my message. All of my friends handled the same situation differently, which made me aware of the different expectations I had for each of them.
In reality, we have higher expectations of the people who are closest to us, such as family, than we do those we don’t know as well. Why is that? I’m still searching for an answer, but I believe it’s partly because of unrealistic expectations. For instance, I expect my husband to act a certain way. I expect him to know what I’m thinking without having to tell him. I expect when I send him a text he will respond immediately. But those are all unrealistic expectations. None of us can control how someone else acts, no matter how badly we want too. No one can know what we’re thinking if we don’t tell them. And no one is waiting at our beck and call to answer whatever need we have. No one that is, but God.
God is who we need to place our expectation of perfection on, not our spouses or friends. God is the only one who knows us intimately, who can anticipate our needs and be there every time we call. No human on earth can do that, not even our husbands. When we lose unrealistic expectations of people, our relationships will get better. We’ll be able to let them off the hook for their imperfections, and love them just as they are. We’ll be able to see when we are placing unrealistic expectations on people and adjust our thoughts. We won’t expect them to know what we’re thinking unless we tell them. We’ll let them be who God created them to be instead of trying to change them into who we want them to be. We’ll allow them to live their lives without placing expectations on them only God can meet.
Today I’m going to find rest by releasing unrealistic expectations. How can you find rest today? Comment below.