Monday, June 05, 2017

What Goes In The Middle?

Do you have expectations for other people that aren't getting met?   We all have expectations.. for our friends, coworkers, spouses, etc.   I know that this is a constant theme in my life.   For a long time I've been talking about giving people grace and believing the best in people, but yesterday via video Andy Stanley explained it better than I have ever been able to.    In fact, I am so convinced that all of us learning this will make a difference that I have created a graphic specifically for this blog (something I rarely take time to do).

The idea is simple.  We have expectations for people and then we have our experience, which is different than our expectations.  Example:  Son says he will be home with the car at 9.  That is our expectation.  He arrives at 11.  That is our experience.

You get it, right?  We have expectations that don't match our experience.

But, the important thing to know is that WE GET TO CHOOSE what goes in the middle.   We can choose to assume the worst or we can believe the best.   From 9-11 we can be saying to ourselves, "That ungrateful ______ is disobeying us again.  When he gets home he is really going to get it this time" or we can say, "I wonder what happened that has made it hard for him to get home?  I'm sure he will have a valid explanation."

Depending on your son, that might not be a good illustration of the point, but the truth is this:   If we offer grace and love and trust in the middle, it can't help but make our relationships better.

I read a study once (and yes, I am really wishing I would have bookmarked it so I could quote it) that pointed out that those who believe others are doing the best they can have better lives.  Read that again -- it isn't the people who we are believing the best about who have better lives, but us ourselves if we believe the best in people.

The next time your expectation does not match your experience, think about this and choose to believe the best in others instead of assume the worst.

Doing that on a regular basis -- offering grace, trust, and love to others -- may very well change your life!

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