I have unrealistic expectations. I am unrealistic about what to expect from life here on Earth. I want heaven here and it is not possible.
While trying to figure out how to deal with the cynicism that I know is prevalent in my heart I am discovering that much of it comes from unrealistic expectations.
I am doing a bible study and we are studying Psalm 27 using a book called “Shelter in the Time of Storm” by Paul David Tripp. This is a bit long but please read, it is HUGE and MONUMENTAL truth that will change you. It is changing me.
“We have them because we don’t take seriously what the Bible has to say about the condition of the world in which we live. Here it is: sin has cast this world into trouble.” (p.23)
“Why is this important to acknowledge? First, much of the disappointment we face is that we’ve carried unrealistic expectations into the situations and relationships of our daily lives, and we do that because we have not taken seriously what the Bible says about the fallen world in which we all live. Here’s an example I’ve seen again and again as I’ve worked with struggling husbands and wives. Couples enter into marriage not taking seriously the fact that they’re both flawed people, living in a fallen world. Because of this they don’t prepare well, as individuals or couples, for the difficulties of building a healthy, God-honoring relationship. Consequently, they are caught short and unprepared, as sin within and difficulty without rear their ugly heads in their marriage. Their unrealistic expectations lead to a lack of preparation, which causes them to react rather than act carefully. In the end they are not only suffering the troubles of life in this fallen world, but also they are suffering the fact that they have troubled their own trouble.
All of this creates the tendency for a husband and wife to play one another’s weaknesses instead of their strengths, instead of preparing themselves with the wisdom principles of God’s word and seeking the enabling power of God’s grace. God’s word is very, very honest about how broken the world we live in actually is. This honesty is God lovingly helping us to be aware and prepared as we live with one another and wait for the ultimate restoration of everything that is.
But there’s something else. Unrealistic expectations cause each of us to live more independently and self-sufficiently than we ever should. In reality, we are all in need of daily rescuing, forgiving, and empowering grace. We need that grace because non of us is free from the presence and power of sin. This means that, moment by moment, we need to be rescued from us!
We also need the grace of God so that we’ll be able to love the weak and failing people who we’re always in relationship with. But there’s something else here. The Word of God is intended to be a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Ps. 119:105) We’ll only live properly in this broken world when we’re being guided and protected by the light of biblical wisdom in the situations and relationships we live in every day. When I live unaware of how profound my need is and how broken my world is, I don’t hunger for the brilliant wisdom of God’s word, and I’m left to my own foolishness. And in my foolishness, I respond to things in a way that only deepens and complicates the troubles that I’m already struggling with.
You can be sure of this; your day of trouble will come. Yet, in your trouble God hasn’t left you alone. What is it that he gives you in your trouble? He gives you himself! He is what will keep you safe. He is near, and he comes to you armed with transforming grace and liberating wisdom. But it’s vital that you live with eyes and heart open to what Scripture says to you about you and the world in which you live. If you do, you’ll live in a way that’s humble and needy, seeking the grace and wisdom that you so desperately need and that God so willingly and lovingly gives. Be realistic. Remember, there’s amazing grace for every realistic thing you’ll be called to face.”
POWERFUL!! I am learning, slowly, to be realistic and hopeful at the same time.
When family night turns into a family feud
When friendships feel like foes
When rasing kids that are raising hell
When work is just plain work
When marriage is messy
I admit I am sinful, I am wrong, I am guilty and God’s grace comes in to fill in the holes.
I am thinking family night, date night and girls night out might should start with confession. We should maybe just maybe, begin with admitting I AM GUILTY.