Last week I spent a lot of time thinking about the word “expectation.” It came about because as I was describing my actions to several people; I would always add, “…but I wasn’t doing it in order to receive something back.” Meaning I was not doing it expecting something back in return. Somewhere in the third or forth telling of my story, I asked myself why I had to keep adding that disclaimer. It then became clear to me that in some way I must have been expecting something in return as a result of my actions. I am clear that my actions were not done in order to receive something back, yet on some level, I expected something.
Expectation is often defined as “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.” So, as I was doing things for others, there was some part of me that had “a strong belief that something would be the case in the future.” That something took many different forms – “friendship,” “respect,” “kindness,” “understanding,” etc. Again, the actions I had taken were not done in order to receive “friendship,” “respect,” “kindness,” or “understanding,” but some part of me had expectations that those things would be received.
As I pondered the word expectation and what role it had in my actions, I had to determine if it lined up with a Christian’s life. I determined that it did not line up.
Luke 6:34-35 states “And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”
Matthew 6:3-4 states “But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”
Acts 20:35 states “I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
In the above scriptures the Lord is telling Christians that they should give/take actions without expecting anything in return. In fact, Christians should seek to give/take actions with the least amount of fanfare, understanding that the Lord sees your actions, and He will reward you.
My goal is to now give/take actions freely without expecting anything in return. I think it will take time to get there, but I believe this attitude will bring freedom.
Glory to God for All That He Has Done
Blessings - Janice
Life Transitions Christian Coaching
Associate Certified Coach, ICF