I’ve been pondering lately about how interesting expectations are. I admit, sometimes I get frustrated with the expectations people place on me. I often times feel either over-estimated, or under-estimated. Though, I really cannot blame them, considering I’ve noticed that I have the tendency to either over or under estimate myself as well.
Expectations require balance just like everything else. If we expect too little of people, or ourselves, we can rob them of their full potential by opening up an easy way out. Conversely, if we expect too much of them, we can place unrealistic ideals on them which will almost certainly end in disappointment. It is important to understand the balance between under-estimating and idealizing people.
I have often been frustrated because I’ve felt that certain people around me expect me to be Superman. Sometimes it seems folks are so surprised to meet a guy that is trying to be a gentleman that they expect him to be able to change his entire generation just because he’s unique. I mean, certainly God has called me to do great things, as with all of His people, but at the same time it is important to realize that we don’t all have to be like the Apostle Paul, or Moses, to be the person that God has called us to be. Perhaps we have a skewed view of what greatness is.
Though, as I mentioned, I am guilty of doing this to myself. Left to myself I develop a mindset that assumes that I must be the best at everything or I’m a failure. I used to think that I had to always be the exception. Though more recently I have realized that I am still only human. I have been realizing the great distinction between trusting myself and trusting God’s work in me.
On the other side of things, I find it remarkably frustrating when people under-estimate me. I have had some folks assume that because I’m a nerd I therefore must be a wimp, or because my life is not falling apart I have never experienced pain, or that I’m not adequate for whatever reason. That always frustrates me to no end because I know, given the opportunity, that I can prove them wrong. I think it is vitally important that we do not under-estimate people. They may not be super-human, but they are still human, and that in itself is a truly remarkable thing.
That is another thing I have been learning these days: that although I am only human, being human is a remarkable thing. I’ve been finding that although I am not Superman, I’m still exactly who God made me to be. It’s difficult to remember sometimes, but true humility is not self-degredation, but an accurate understanding of who you are in relation to Who God is. With that said, I can’t promise you that I’ll change the world, and I hope you don’t expect that of me, but I can promise you one thing: I am who I am, nothing more, and nothing less.