Joy-killer #4: Unmet Expectations

Click here to submit your answer to the question, “What do you think are things that kill people’s joy?” For the rest of the series, click here.

It’s been awhile since I wrote on the topic of joy-killers. I thought I’d pick it up again today.

Unmet expectations are a source of joy-robbing for most people I know and definitely for me. Yesterday was a perfect example of this. I had taken the day off to unpack boxes (since we just moved) and instead had a wild day filled with a number of things I didn’t plan, intend or want. I won’t bore you with details, but the highlight was not having our DirecTV set-up in time for the Broncos game last night. All day I was fairly grumpy and not joy-filled, and I am to blame for that.

Our expectations are often sources for dissatisfaction because they are unrealistic and selfish. We think we deserve a comfortable and easy life and when we don’t get it, we are very unhappy. But the reality is that we don’t deserve anything good. Anything we receive is a gracious gift from a generous God.

If we can lower our expectations (particularly of other people), remind ourselves that each day is better than we deserve, and be thankful for everything that happens (1 Thess. 5:18), we will live with much more contentment and joy.


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  1. #1 by Kevin on September 9, 2008 - 9:31 pm

    Hab 3:17 Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
    Hab 3:18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
    Psa 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
    If only I could have this perspective, I think my disappointments would greatly diminish

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