the righteous will live by faith…(Romans 1:17)
I have many expectations that are not birthed out of faith, but instead, come from places of fear. My heart churns within me, not for greater faith, but for assurance that my anxieties will all be ok as long as what I “feel” like I need in my life is happening.
Until we can fully trust someone else, show them grace and be of a sweet aroma to them and not the stench of death we must release our expectations to the Father of truth. Much of our relational stress comes from a place of fear and unmet expectations. These are not expectations grounded in trust. They are, at the root, our own vain attempts to soothe our worry.
Our coping mechanisms have nothing to do with faith, but everything to do with fear and control. If we can relieve our own fears, it matters not how we treat a person. As long as we can feel better inside that is our greatest priority. More often than not our expectations of another person become the aroma of death to them, because how we treat them is very wrong. Their personhood is not our concern. What matters most is their agreement to side with our unhealthy expectations, so we do whatever we can to manipulate them into fitting the mold of our expectations grounded in fear.
God is revealing to me how much I have done this. I am asking Him for a new kind of heart and mind, found only in His love. The only way we can become the sweet smell of life to someone is to lay down our expectations of them, giving them the freedom to fail, try again, and walk the journey God has for them. Whenever we attempt to control someone’s journey we stunt their growth and cause a wedge to be formed in our relationship. Casting our deepest fears upon them we drag them into our own mental anguish. Believing the lie that we are soothing the pain of the bad thing that could happen.
This causes division between spouses. I know I have placed unhealthy expectations on my own spouse, birthed from a place of fear and insecurity. Oh Lord, forgive me and make me new! Our own inability to throw ourselves at the Master’s mercy births within our children the same need for control. Our greatest fears become theirs as well. Until we deal seriously with our need for control, fear becomes the remedy we seek to soothe a heart that is not at rest before the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus, forgive me. I long to be like you. Thank you for showing me the places that still need your grace. Thank you for taking me to places that make me terribly uncomfortable. I pray in faith for a new heart. A heart that trusts. A heart that is full of joy. A heart that is alive in your presence. A heart that cares for people. Not a heart that uses them to soothe my worry. Lord, grow my heart to love, trust and abide, not to fear, control and worry. In Jesus name, Amen!