Centralia Fireside Guard

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Pastor’s Desk: Expectations can be divisive

Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 1:49 pm

Pastor Bill Schnackenberg, Centralia United Methodist Church

I’ve been looking at my expectations lately. Not so much the expectations I have of myself, but the expectations I have of other people.

Pastor Bill Schnackenberg

Pastor Bill Schnackenberg

Doesn’t that sound a bit judgmental? It does to me. Needless to say, expectations seem to drive our culture.

Television, radio, social media and print advertisements all promise to do things for us, to make us smarter, or wealthier, healthier, or more beautiful, and on and on, but only if you buy their product.

I remember learning a quip found in the 1735 edition of Poor Richard’s Almanack that promises much the same things, but makes use of our own abilities, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man (sic) healthy, wealthy, and wise.” That sounds like setting up an expectation for ourselves instead of something or someone else.

It’s hard enough to meet the expectations we have of ourselves, but to set up expectations for other people makes us sound very controlling. But the truth is we have little control of ourselves and virtually no real control of other people and their decisions and actions. We certainly can want others to behave just like we want them to, but in reality they have been given the same gift of free will that God has given to us.

For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.