As Chris and I were making dinner this evening, we discussed the day. This is one of my favorite things about our relationship; chopping, stirring, simmering and tasting go hand-in-hand with gentle, unwinding conversation. The topics flip back and forth. Stories get added to. Worries are aired. The pressing concerns of the previous 8 hours fade away.
After relating one particularly difficult situation to him, I found myself saying, “I don’t know what anyone wants from me.”
One little sentence can reveal so much about the state of the heart.
A large part of the anxiety I struggle with comes from constantly trying to live up to the expectations of others, whether stated or dreamed up by myself.
I don’t buy into the line of thinking that says we should have no expectations of each other. For example, my boss should expect me to be at work on time and my husband should expect me to be his best friend and cheerleader. Those are good, right things. Problems arise when others have standards that are not good and right. You will always be there exactly when I need you and you will be in the mood/frame of mind that I want you to be in. Your problems will never take precedence over mine. You will never give me a funny look. You will always be cheerful. You will never complain and you won’t ask for help. You will…
The truth is, I do know what is wanted, but that want is impossible. I know because I’ve had that want, placed that expectation on others before. I can’t be more Jesus than Jesus. Bless His name, He shapes me every day. Little rough edges are smoothed away by His dear hands. But He’s the one who’s always “on,” not me. He’s the one who’s the best possible friend anyone could ask for. He’s the one who has all the answers. He’s the one who has the ability to give, give, give and give some more. He never gets tired, never gets crabby. He – alone – is perfect.
What people want, what they need, is Jesus. If they know Him, then they need more of Him.
That’s where the mind of life and peace is.
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people?If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. – Galatians 1:10 (NIV)