Unrealistic Expectations can set us up for Disappointment

I got to go fishing at the beach while on a family vacation for a few days earlier this summer. The fish are usually safe when I go fishing. I am not very good at it but I always have high hopes of catching a “Big One.” True to form, I caught a few little fish and even a crab, who once I reeled it in, looked at me, and some how got unhooked of my fishing line and went back into the water… I guessed I scared it. I had a great time anyway. Sometimes little things do not go our way or turn out like we had hoped, leaving us feeling disappointed… but that should not ruin our day.

It is wise to plan ahead, think things through and hope for the best. When we expect everything to always go perfect in an imperfect world, that is a different story .That kind of attitude can get us uptight just about any little thing, even insignificant things that really are irrelevant. That selfish attitude can kick into high gear and our demanding demeanor can become a stress inducer not only for us, but it can spill over into those around us… what a mess we can make for ourselves and others.

Sometimes our problems are self-induced by our own unrealistic expectations. We can get so worked up and anxious, expecting people to react to us in a certain way, preconceived in our own minds . If they don’t do what we expect, we can misunderstand their lack of response to us. We may think they are rejecting us as a person. Maybe that is not the reason at all, they could be having a bad day, or they are distracted by something else that they are worried about.

Stephen Arterburn, noted Christian Counselor and author offers this insight: “Unrealistic expectations that we place upon others leads to unnecessary disappointments. It is so easy to place our values and expectations upon others, measuring them by our standards and grading them on how well they fit into our plans. Sadly, we are most prone to do this with those closest to us. They sometimes become our emotional punching bags because we know they are least likely to abandon us when we show our demanding side. Try to approach each day, each relationship, each situation with the conscious thought, that God wants you to be humble and gentle with others.”

Open my eyes Lord…that I may see things and other people from Your perspective. May I be sensitive to Your Spirit to guide me. Keep my mind clear of the stuff that doesn’t really matter. Show me the way to show Your Grace to others, and to make the most of each day.

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