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My Expectations by Isioma Martins

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. - Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
An expectation is a strong belief that something will happen or that someone will or should achieve something. It can be high or low, good, or bad, and it is usually based on what we are used to, our experiences growing up, or our personalities.

Expectations exist where there is a mutual dependency. We expect our friends to act like we do and vice versa. Unfortunately, these expectations are often wrong because we are all different.
Misplaced expectations can create a lot of trouble in any relationship. When those expectations are not met, it results in conflict.

So, how do we set appropriate expectations in our friendships? First off, understand that you cannot have the same expectations of every person in your life. The acceptance of this truth will transform how you deal with your friendships and will help you have healthy friendship connections.

You can consider doing an inventory of your friendships by placing them into any of the following categories: best friend, close friend, peer friends, acquaintances. Each category has its expectations and as you place each person in their right category, you can adjust your expectations accordingly.

To better manage expectations in our relationships, one key thing is to be open and honest with each other. We should discuss our expectations with our friends and learn about what their expectations of us are. We shouldn’t set expectations we can barely achieve ourselves.

This creates emotional safety and freedom within the relationship. It also allows us to have realistic expectations of each other and saves us from shock and disappointment when these expectations are not met.

If our friends do not meet the expectations that we have formed for them, it is important to remember that it is not their fault. People cannot give more than they have, and they certainly cannot become people they are not. We need to be flexible enough to change our expectations when we see that they are unattainable.

Prayer Moment

• Heavenly Father, I thank you for the gift of relationships in my life.

• I am truly sorry for the many unspoken but felt expectations that I have had of my friends and loved ones, that have been unrealistic and unhealthy.

• Open my eyes and my heart as I evaluate my expectation of others. Help me to see where it lacks faith and wisdom. Show me areas where I need to change. Conform my expectations and hopes to your expectations.

• Lord, I thank you for your grace. Help me to extend grace beyond myself when situations and people in my life fall short of my expectations. Amen.

Think Over it
What is God saying to me today?
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