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Chapter 25 - Great Expectations
There is that within the human heart that draws from possibilities an expectation of something desired. This can be seen in the ministry of John the Baptist. His ministry was in part to prepare people to expect the Messiah.
And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; - Luke 3:15
However, our expectations can also form from selfish desires. This is how people can become hopeful to win the lottery, get a big promotion, move to Hollywood to be a movie star, or Nashville to be a famous singer.
The baby boom generation was targeted by Satan through the saturation of the radio airwaves with thousands of teenage 'love' songs that stirred the passions and expectations of young people and drew them increasingly into lives of indulgence and self-centeredness. This frequently manifested in the expectation that a marriage would be a source of constant romantic emotional stimulation. When one or both people enter a marriage relationship with the expectation that they will be provided a constant stream of satisfaction, they can be deeply disappointed when their expectations are not met.
Christian relationships can also suffer from unrealistic expectations. A common source of disappointment is when a person holds to a particular doctrine or practice and expects that any other Christian would also see such a doctrine or practice as superior.
The key to avoiding expectations that could result in disappointment, frustration, or even embarrassment is to discern the difference between hope and certainty. The bible frequently exhorts us to follow the path of truth.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. - Romans 12:3
When a person is immersed in organizational Christianity he pretty much comes to know what to expect. Relational Christianity is much less predictable because people are less predictable than systems. This is much more so when dealing with Christians who are relatively immature. Just as one might expect a small child to be selfish and petulant, one would expect a young adult to be less so.
The more mature Christian should expect that his path through life will be guided by the Holy Spirit and that on this path he will encounter various people for various purposes. Such encounters may result in opportunities to minister to others, be ministered to, give or receive instruction, or even form relationships of various depth and length.
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