The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:20-21

When I get mad at someone for cutting me off in traffic or for being rude at the checkout, it’s because I expected them to behave differently. Many times I’ve heard it said (and I’ve lived by this much of my life) that a person’s behavior will rise to the level of your expectations.

But that’s not always true, is it? I have some family members who don’t seem concerned at all about how I expect them to act.

You see, the problem with expectations is that they are almost never met. They’re in our head and even if we communicate them to the other person, something gets lost in translation. When people don’t meet our expectations, especially our spouse or our kids who should know better, then we get disappointed, angry or frustrated.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we give up and let everyone do what they want with no boundaries—then we’d be even more frustrated and angry. No, the key is to keep our expectations in line with God’s way of thinking.

God expects us to fail, to disappoint Him, to get it all wrong. Every day, He gives us grace and another chance, along with more instruction on how to live for Him. How much would our relationships change if we followed that example?

What if we expected people to disappoint us and we were okay with that?

What if we saw it as a learning experience? A chance for all of us to become more like Christ.

Dear Lord, thank you for the grace you give me every day when I don’t meet Your expectations. Remind me to extend the same grace to others, especially when I need to give them more instructions on how to live for You. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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