I got a little fired up this morning in a conversation about Christmas. I said some things that I shouldn’t have, and now I wish I had bit my tongue and saved those comments for a calmer conversation with my husband – rather than the company I was with.
Well, after the company had left, after I realized what a complete idiot I was, and after I apologized to my husband and the Lord for not holding my peace I started to think about why I got so upset in the first place. The things I said were not inherently untrue – but they were also nothing close to words that were seasoned with grace, or wisdom or kindness. *** if you are reading this, I’m sorry.
There are other things that have been bugging me too…little relational things that are driving small, but strong wedges into friendships, planting tiny seeds of resentment – and I had better be on guard before these little foxes ruin the vineyard. And all the issues, all of them, can be boiled down to expectations of all different types.
It could be someone else’s opinion of the right way to parent, or how our family MUST spend Christmas day, where I should live, whether I should give my children juice of milk in the morning….and the list goes on and on and on. And the real honest truth is I am completely tired of other people’s expectations of me!
I think there was a time when I took delight in meeting everyone’s expectations – at least for the most part. I would bend over backwards to meet them, sacrificing my own convictions in the process (maybe not directly, all the time, but by missing out on time with my husband, for example). Sometimes I would try to compromise with others, when they were willing to bend a little, and sometimes I would just suck it up, paste a smile on my face and bear it. But now, well, now I simply cannot do it anymore, and I am ready to break off the chains of expectations and do what it is the Lord is asking of me. Yes, sometimes that may mean heeding another’s expectation of me, but sometimes it might mean standing up for what I believe is right, at the sake of being disliked, mocked, misunderstood etc.
There are times to compromise and times to stand your ground. I pray that I will have wisdom to know one from the other.
What do you think? Am I totally off my rocker here? Should I try to “people-please” for the sake of a relationship – forever trying not to offend? Where can the line be drawn?