Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!
I doubt very many of you will be visiting this blog in light of the holiday but it's my day to post and I hope to encourage whoever stops by!
I'm scheduled to post on the fourth Thursday of every month. I apologize for being AWOL last month. Between my travels and my work load, I just couldn't get it done. So sorry.
Today I want to explore the idea of expectations. By definition, expectation is a belief that someone will or should achieve something.
We've all felt the pain of disappointment when someone has failed to meet our expectations. Some of our assumptions were legitimate, others, misplaced. Even so, human as we are, we are going to disappoint one another.
What does this have to do with speaking?
A whole lot. As your platform grows, the circle also widens of those who expect a multitude of things from you. Many will want personal time with you; one on one counsel; will want you to give up your one free weekend; will want you to help them get published; will want you to give them free product; will want you to talk with them on the phone; will want you to talk to their friend who is lost; will want you to correspond with them regularly by email; will want you to be their new best friend.
As your platform grows, so does the potential that you will disappoint someone who wants something from you.
Are you encouraged yet? Please hang with me.
Proverbs 29:25 is profound to me: The fear of man is a snare (a trap; captivity; bondage), but the fear of the Lord leads to safety (freedom, power, effectiveness).
How easy it is to fall into the trap of people pleasing! We may start out with a sincere motive but it's far too easy to slip into making choices so that others have a favorable opinion of us, or so they won't become upset with us, or so that we can feel better about ourselves. But ultimately, those kinds of choices lead us into captivity and out of the free and promised places God has for us.
Does this mean that we never take time to correspond with someone we've never met? Or give away free product, or take the time to help someone get published? Should we never give away our one free weekend or pray with someone on the phone, or cultivate new friendships?
Never say never!
Time and time again, we WILL be called to do all of these things, but may we do so as the Spirit of God leads us and not because we're being pulled in a thousand directions or that we don't know how to say no. When we serve an audience of ONE, we can give out of the depths of our hearts, generously, sacrificially, and with a glad heart.
When we serve an audience of ONE, our gifts to others will bear the most nourishing fruit and provide the most lasting impact.
Remember the boy who gave Jesus his lunch? What did JESUS do with it? He miraculously multiplied that boy's offering? What if that boy would have given his lunch to someone who was pulling on him and demanding that he hand it over? Well, that boy would have fed one, not thousands and thousands.
The thing is, when we serve an audience of ONE, we are still going to disappoint others. But ultimately, we are accountable to God. And there lies the freedom. God is big enough to take care of everybody's needs. We are not and He doesn't expect us to be.
Jesus never asked us to burn ourselves out through the demands of others. He asked us to serve HIM wholeheartedly with everything that we are. He promised that He will pour into us time and time again that we might become perpetual springs of blessings to a world in need.
Let's take one more look at the definition of expectation: a belief that someone will or should achieve something.
There is ONE who will not disappoint. He keeps His promises. He delivers on time. He's always motivated by love and He is perfectly engaged with us on this journey. When we serve HIM, we can expect great things to happen in our midst and in the lives of those He has given us to love. We can give no greater gift to those in our sphere of influence than a life fully devoted to God.
My soul, wait quietly for God alone, for my expectation is from Him (Psalm 62:5).
Until next month~