What Do You Expect?

By Rachel Stewart

“Love bears up under anything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything.” 1 Corinthians 13:7 (AMP)

Years ago, Bruce Wilkinson was a new professor at Multnomah School of the Bible. His first time there, he attended a faculty meeting. One of the teachers pulled him aside and said “You lucky dog. You got two ‘Section A’ classes. Every year they look at test scores to figure out who the best and brightest students are, and then they put them in the ‘Section A’ classes. They are a joy to teach. They are bright, funny, and engaged. They are eager to learn. You are going to love having those classes and you are lucky you got them your first year as a new professor.”

He was right. Bruce loved them. The students in his two classes were bright and a joy to teach all year long. At the end of the school year, they all gathered for graduation. Bruce made a comment to his supervisor that he sure hoped he would get the “Section A” classes again next year. The supervisor looked at him funny and said, “Bruce, there are no ‘Section A’ classes. We canceled that program six years ago.”

Bruce didn’t believe him. He went back and got his gradebook and sure enough, his two classes had gotten more A’s than all the others. The other classes got C’s and B’s. Then he weighed the term papers. His students had put more into their papers than all the others.

He realized he had set them up with his expectations.

He expected them to be better, and they were.

We have great influence with those around us. We have the opportunity to build others up or tear them down.

Are we setting people up for success or failure?

What are our expectations for our marriages, children, friendships, and our jobs?

Are we believing the best about others?

We will get out of our relationships what we expect of them. 

Let’s be people who believe and expect the best in others. As 1 Corinthians 13:7 says, “Love…is ever ready to believe the best of every person.”

Who are you setting up with your expectations?

~This devotional was inspired by Rick Warren’s Daily Hope podcast, “40 Days of Love, The Secrets of Lasting Love, Part 3.”

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