She starts out by describing her perfect picture of life then asks "Do you have a magazine dream?" I almost laughed at that question. It took me about .5 seconds to answer it and describe in detail my answer. Then, she asks "Does any of this resemble dreams you have or still hold onto?" Of course, my answer was yes. Here's her response...
If we take all our dreamy, unrealistic expectations and add the unrealistic expectations from the people we love, we create a dangerous concoction: a recipe for an overwhelming, disappointing life. After all, burnout comes not from work, but from not achieving expectations. (pg 102)
Have you expected someone or something other than God to live up to your expectations? To fill you up? To make you whole? To always keep his/her promise? To respond to your parenting with kind obedience? To be your Savior? (pg 102)
Angela goes onto to say...
Have you expected too much of yourself- to be the best mom, best daughter, best wife, best student, best friend, best employee, best follower of Christ?
From the first breathe you drew, you have need a Savior. You are imperfect and flawed.
Jesus took you off the hook when He died on the cross. He bore our sin and imperfection. You do not have to be what you can never be.
If we allow that truth to renew our mind, we will be set free of living a life measured by our expectations.
Angela challenges us with this...
Who needs to be let off the hook today? Your husband? A wayward child? You and your high expectations? Make a list of the names. Now make this declaration for each name you have written:
__________________________________________, you are off the hook. I kneel at the cross and lay down my unrealistic expectations about you. You are a human being who needs a Savior. Only God is perfect. I hereby release you from ever having to be my Savior, my fulfillment, and my joy. All that I need is Him. Jesus Christ is my Savior. I am humbled and I am greatful. (pg 104)
For me, that's a declaration I will have to make a few times a day, every day, until my mind is renewed in the truth that only God is perfect and no other person on this planet, including myself, will live up to my perfect expectation. And what does that mean for my life?
It means this...
When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.- Luke 12:48b
We are given grace freely, which means that we need to extend grace in return. Obviously, God does not need our grace, but others do. If you've followed my blog for a time, you know that over the last 10 months, God has revealed more to me about His grace than ever before. And the more I realize how God's grace applies to my life, I realize that if I'm going to live Christlike, I have to live out grace to others.
Today, let's make a point to let others off the hook. Let's let ourselves off the hook. And let's let our minds be transformed. Only God is perfect. And because He's extended undeserved grace to us, we need to live a life of extended grace to others!