What Do You Expect?
What if no one owed you anything? Not a single compliment, high-five, pay-raise, hot meal, clean pair of socks, or favor of any kind? How would that affect your attitude, even your approach to life?
Isn’t it true that frustration comes from unmet expectations?
I’m not suggesting we give everything away and work for free.
But what if we cancel all expectations, every assumption of what we think others owe us and instead do what we do and behave how we behave based solely on who we want to be? What if our driving force became, ‘This is who I am,’ more than, ‘This is what I expect in return.’
Jesus says, ‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…’ Matthew 7:12 (NIV)
Saying, ‘Do Something Simple – live Matthew 7:12,’ is much easier said than done.
Doing good, with no strings attached, sounds saintly but it’s so hard! I might do it once, even twice without forecasting what’s in it for me. But more than that, my godliness erodes, and my expectation for a return on my investment takes over.
When expecting something in return for our actions, even our intentions, we consider others indebted to us, and we await payment. ‘Do they notice how hard I’m working? Don’t they realize how helpful I am? Can they hear my encouraging words? Can’t they see the sacrifices I’m making for them?’ We assume they do. If they don’t, we believe they should.
Scott’s Real-Life Version translation of the Bible more often reads Matthew 7:12 in this way,
‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. If, after doing this a couple of times, they don’t respond with extreme gratitude by doing the same to you, and more, move on.’ (SRLV)
Is it unrealistic to expect nothing in return all the time? After all, we’re human. We need acknowledgment, affirmation, and appreciation. That stuff is fuel to the soul. But what if we don’t need it as much because God genuinely is our source? What if being noticed or recognized for your awesomeness was something you looked at as more of a now-and-then gift than a regular expectation?
Imagine the freedom you’d walk in if you did to others what you would love them to do for you even as you expect nothing in return, nothing!
Do Something Simple – live Matthew 7:12 for 24 hours. Go through a whole day going above and beyond what’s expected of you and expect nothing in return.
What if we did this for two days, a week, a month? It would likely change our lives.
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