“The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish“
(Proverbs 10:28, ESV)
Expectations lead to disappointment which many times leads to judgment. When someone can’t accept you as you are and how you behave—if they expect you to change—they may become judgmental or controlling. We cannot control the behavior of others. We can, however, choose who to invest in and walk away from those not investing in our well-being or in the relationship. We are not responsible for someone’s actions—only for our reaction. When you do not expect anything, chances are you won’t be disappointed. Giving to others without expecting anything in return is agape love, brotherly love, or charity. It is the “love of God for man and man for God.”
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked” (Luke 6:35, NIV).
As a child, I was often judged for my actions. As a result I grew up thinking that judging others was acceptable behavior. I was always concerned about how others perceived me and was in constant fear of disappointing someone or being disappointed. After surrendering my life to Christ, I now live to please my Lord and Savior. I am learning to be more compassionate and kinder to others, to ease my expectations so I do not judge people when they do not act or behave in the way I expect. I see others through the eyes of the Lord, and love on them regardless of their actions; the way the Lord loves me. I have learned to enjoy the person or relationship more when I do not have expectations. If you are not equally yoked, it’s biblical not to associate with a person lest they take you away from Peace. Love and pray for them but walk away if you are convicted in your spirit.
Life is not perfect. Removing expectations will let you appreciate life as is. Judgement only adds frustration and negativity to all your relationships. Perfectionists are never happy. When you let go of expectations, you create space to enjoy the present—the here and now. Removing expectations does not mean lowering your standards, it means letting go of unnecessary pressure you put on others as well as yourself. Expectations are an illusion that leads to disappointment. The joy of living is when you don’t have the pressure of pleasing others and you do not impose your will on others. Living without expectations requires accepting others as they are and loving them as God loves us, with grace and mercy.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NIV)