Lower Your Expectations, Raise Your Commitment

Series: Axioms

Habakkuk 3:17-19 is seldom a Mother’s Day text, but it is also rare to hear a Mother’s Day sermon on one of my favorite axioms. Lower Your Expectations, Raise Your Commitment has been the one piece of advice I share with couples getting married. This does not mean to lower our STANDARDS, just our expectations. Some expectations are legitimate and appropriate. However, the reality is that people often do not meet (or exceed) our expectations and that can cause conflict. Furthermore, if someone meets my expectation (which may be lofty and unrealistic); they do not get kudos—they are only doing what I think they should do. Ironically, our lofty expectations can crush gratitude.

As an Oral Roberts University graduate (two degrees, one wife), I always feel a bit chagrined when I use this axiom. The motto of ORU was “Expect A Miracle.” Miracles are a positive aspect of our faith. While miracles happen, that is what they are—miraculous. They are rare. If we expect them to happen or feel entitled to them, we may set ourselves up for extreme disappointment. Many people are angry with God because life did not turn out as they expected. A friend in my ORU Doctor of Ministry class, Dr. Thomas Mathew, preached, “What Happens in Between Miracles?” I think Habakkuk 3:17-19 expresses it so well—I am committed to the Lord and joyful in Him regardless of whether things go my way or not.

Moms, the truth of the matter is your kids will not always make “straight As” or have straight teeth. They will misbehave, make bad choices, and may break your heart. Being a mom is one of the most difficult roles in all of life. Please know this: you do not have to be perfect. Your kids do not have to be perfect. You may not be the Proverbs 31 woman. You want your kids to succeed, but your identity is more than their performance. Being committed means to celebrate your wins, learn from your mistakes, grow and love together. Being committed means to stay calm, stay connected, stay the course, and above all else, to stay in Christ.

Speaker: Tom Harrison

May 8, 2022
Habakkuk 3:17-19

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