There is a meme on Twitter which almost always cracks me up every time I see it (forget that I’ve probably seen it a hundred times now). It features a man at a protest of some sort, carrying a placard that bears the words “Our Expectations For You Were Low, But Holy *expletive*!!!”.
There’s no doubt about it; even though we don’t always mean to, humans will always find a way to disappoint each other. And it’s no surprise- only God can make a promise to always be there for you and fulfill such promise. We humans are limited in potency, sentience, and movement to always be there for the ones we love and have a responsibility to.
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called… forbearing one another in love; ”Ephesians 4:1-2 (KJV, abridged)
We are called to forbear one another, keeping in mind our frailties. The TLB version renders it as “making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” Knowing and understanding that the humans around us are fallible, enables us to have better relationships with those around us.
But how should we forbear? Should we hope for the best but expect the worst? The answer to this question is found still in Ephesians 4:2. We are told to forbear in love. How does Love forbear?
“Charity… beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”1 Corinthians 13:7 (KJV)
“If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.”1 Corinthians 13:7 (TLB)
Truth is, most of the time, our expectations are the realities we command. In making allowance for each other’s frailties (and doing so in Love), we must hope for the best and expect the best. That way, if someone behaves otherwise, we know how to pray for the person.
Love in us says “No! This is not proper behavior for the believer! I do not expect this believer to behave like this. I pray the Holy Spirit helps this believer walk worthy of the vocation wherewith he/she has been called….”. This is a better response than being indifferent, as the person in question has behaved according to expectation anyway.
We are called to walk in Love. It’s easier said than done. And that’s why the believer’s journey is a work of Faith from start to finish. We have the Holy Spirit in us, and day by day we’re yielding, allowing Him to work His Will in us (Amen!).
We walk in Love!