Hi everyone! My name is Renee Evans and I am the senior leader of Bethel Church in Austin, Texas. I want to welcome you to God Today. Today I am going to be talking to you about offense from expectation. One of our goals as believers is to live a life free of offense. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:19, “A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city.”
So many times offense, frustration, and disappointment can be avoided if we will walk with expectancy and not expectation. See, expectation is a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future. Whereas expectancy is the state of thinking or hoping that something, especially something pleasant will happen or be the case. Living a life of expectancy leads us to faith and thanksgiving. Whereas unfounded expectation can cause confusion and pain.
We create a story in our minds of how things should look and how others should act. It affects our relationships, it affects our jobs, how we relate to leaders, and those that we lead as well. See, expectation in and of itself is not a bad thing. It is the false expectation that can hurt us and cause confusion. We often create unspoken expectations of other people. We assume they know where we stand on things, or how we think about something or our standards, or ultimately what we hope to gain from a relationship.
I remember when I was first married I would sometimes get upset my husband didn’t read between my lines. I would get really frustrated he didn’t just know the expectations I had of him. I mean – how dare he [laughter]! Until one day he simply pointed out, “I don’t know what you don’t tell me. I can’t guess. I am not a mind reader.” I know that is really simple and it might be stating the obvious, but it was a profound moment for me. At that moment, I realized how much I assumed that other people knew my expectations and that I held them to those expectations. He doesn’t know what I need unless I communicate my needs to him. Therefore, if I don’t he is always going to fall short of the expectations that I hold him to.
By simply having a conversation and living by expectancy that he wants to understand me and that he wants to help me, and that he loves me, it enables me to believe the best in him and not partner with offense. It can be the same as the church and even with our jobs. If we have an expectation of our leaders, or our colleagues, or our family members, that we never actually communicate, then the only person we can blame if they don’t meet our expectations, is ourselves.
I believe we can learn to live a life of expectancy and not expectation. And if we do have expectations, that we would be really good at communicating them to people that we love and to the people we are in a relationship with. So we don’t give the enemy any foothold to let offense grow in our hearts. Let’s pray.
Lord, we ask that you help us live lives of hopeful expectation, always believing the best in people, in ourselves, and in you. I ask that you would reveal unspoken expectations that we have created. Give us the grace to communicate to one another. I ask that you would make our hearts tender toward you and others so there is no room for offense to creep in and grow. And Lord, guide us in all we do in every single relationship we have. In Jesus’ name. Amen.