The Idea: Expectations Matter
Have you ever been to New York City? If you have you know there are really only three ways to get around: walking, subway, or taxi. I heard a story the other day about a gentleman who hailed a ride from a taxi. As he hopped in the car and put his seatbelt on their car was hit by another taxi from behind. To his amazement the driver didn’t seem to care at all. The driver behind them didn’t engage either. He put the car in drive and they left, like nothing happened! The expectations of these drivers are so different than in Fishers, IN. We call that a hit and run and can get in serious trouble! Not in New York. That’s called “normal traffic.” It’s amazing, in our suburban utopia you can get in a car wreck that’s no more intense than a kiddie roller coaster and inevitably law suits and endless doctor visits are sure to follow. In New York, a little whiplash goes with your morning coffee on the way to work! Don’t forget the spill cap on that Starbucks coffee!
Expectations matter. This is true in marriage, our jobs, with our children, even in our churches. We want a worship pastor who sings like the angels, a sound technician who perfectly queues the microphones, and a pastor who draws you to tears with every illustration even if it’s a story out of Leviticus. This is true on the leadership side too! We want church attenders who never complain, volunteers in every ministry, and congregants who love it when someone new takes their seat! Somewhere in the middle of what “ought” to be and what truly is, we find miserable, grumpy Christians.
This is also true in how we approach God. Thanks to the landslide of health, wealth, and prosperity preaching over the last decade, we have an army of Christians that think their physical and financial condition directly results from their having enough faith or being “right with God.” Yes, because all the disciples lived long healthy lives with lots of money and land. (Where is that sarcasm punctuation mark again?) I think something needs to change.
2 Peter 1:5-7, “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” Peter calls Christians to “make every effort” to increase in these attributes. I don’t know about you, but growing my self-control, steadfastness, and godliness along with all these other attributes takes work and a little, if not a lot of jostling in life! Just maybe we should approach everything
from relationships to our devotional life with our spill cap on. Life isn’t about your comfort, it’s about being conformed to the heart of Christ! Expectations matter!
Personifying the idea:
I want you to take a moment and think about the things that have jostled you. Is there something you can learn about yourself, the culture around you and how to usher the nature of Christ into your situation? You don’t have to answer below, but do think about it!