EXPECTATIONS – WHERE THEY CAME FROM AND HOW TO CHANGE THEM
I concluded my last blog with some questions relating to the topic of expectation. I would now like to relate this back to the topics I addressed last year, those of Love and Unity.
If we approach these from our own personal experiences, we could very well have a very low or negative expectation of this ever being possible. To change this we should try to understand how our belief systems work. The reality is that we all have thousands, maybe tens of thousands of beliefs that we function out of from our subconscious. Where did we get or form these beliefs from is an important question we should be willing to explore.
Jesus said, “A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40). Whether we realize it or not, our parents are our main teachers. Many of us spend twenty plus years (about quarter of or lives) living with, being taught by and greatly influenced by our parents (for better or worse). Some beliefs are transmitted by osmosis, that is, by absorbing the atmosphere we are in. Other major teaching influences will be schoolteachers, our Pastors and others who have opportunity to speak into our lives. So here is how it basically works. We all are continually having experiences that we internally categorize, maybe as good, bad or numerous other “beliefs”.
This cycle can be simply explained as follows.
Our lives are full of EXPERIENCES that result in beliefs —-🡪
Our BELIEFS produce expectations —-🡪
Our EXPECTATIONS produces behaviour —-🡪
Our BEHAVIOUR produces more experiences that reinforce our beliefs
This is called the Belief-Expectation Cycle, some of which may be positive but much is negative. The belief sits in the subconscious, often hindering us pursuing and attaining what God’s purpose is for us, and ultimately the Church. How do we change this? Well, the scripture is the source of truth and life. Paul’s well-known words to the Romans are the key, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will”. (Romans 12:2). We need to read and believe the word of God.
So we need to remember things that Jesus said, believe, and apply them. For instance, Jesus tells us things about our enemy the devil. That he steals, kills and destroys (John 10:10), that he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). He also tells us He wants us to have life in all its fullness (John 10:10), and if we obey His teaching we will know the truth and the truth will set us free (John 8:31-32).
Many of the underlying oppositions to love and unity are bound up in what we believe about other Christians. If we allow external things (songs we sing, way we worship or pray, translations used) to hinder love and unity, we deny Christ. He said to love one another as He loved us, no excuses!