Change Your Expectations to Avoid Disappointment

My friend Cecil Murphey says, “If I expect certain behavior that I don’t get, I can become angry. Or I can change my expectations.”

I might spend half a days’ wages to buy a gift for someone, expecting them to rave about it and display it in a prominent place in their home. When they give it to a neighbor or simply don’t praise it as much as I want, do I tell them how much they’ve hurt me, and secretly vow to never give them another gift?

I can create a lovely meal, expecting my husband to “ummm” and “ahhhh” while he eats it. If he barely says a word, do I pout or accuse him of not caring about me?

If I work my hiney off on a project at work, expecting my boss to praise me and he doesn’t even notice, do I shrug it off and realize that I’m working for Jesus’ praise, or do I draw attention to my labors?

This is a lesson I’m still learning, after more than six decades on this globe. If we have certain expectations of others that only God can fulfill, we set ourselves up for trouble.  People can help God fill up our emotional gas tanks. But if we look to people instead of God, we will always be disappointed. Read that again.

Only God can make dreams come true. That’s why I need to look to him to fill me up, make me feel special, and meet all my needs. Because He can. He’s the only one who can.

He can do the same for you too.  You and your dreams are worth it. 

Jeanette Levellie

Irish redhead and former history teacher Jeanette Levellie is the author of four books and hundreds of articles, stories, and newspaper columns. Among her publishing credits are stories in Guideposts anthologies,, and Country magazine. Jeanette is also a vocalist and speaker, splashing hope and humor on audiences of all sizes and styles. She and her pastor husband Kevin are parents to two adults, grandparents to three children, and servants to four cats. They live in Paris, IL., where the winters are frigid but the people are warm and friendly. Her hobbies include fitness, reading, and finding new ways to avoid housework.

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  1. Thanks, Jen, for this encouraging word. It’s interesting to note how many areas of our lives this kind of thinking can impact.

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