How many times have you looked forward to something only to be disappointed? Friends rave about a new movie and after seeing it your heightened expectations are disappointed. A new job, a new relationship, a new car—each offer the promise of more comfort, more fun, more purpose, but when the newness wears off it’s the same old grind.

Often I have found it is not that we’re in the wrong job, drive the wrong car, or have the wrong friends. It’s that our expectations are out of phase.

As the popular brand reminds us “Life is Good”—and it truly is. However, we sometimes must peel back the layers of busyness, stress, and disappointment to be reminded of that very truth, especially when it comes to our unmet expectations.

Having dealt with this in my own life, as well as coaching others through this process, it has become clear that it is seldom the fault of the product, and often not the fault of the relationship, but rather our disappointment is rooted in the fact that our expectations are out of phase.

Products are designed to serve a purpose in our lives and our relationships are there to give and receive support. Our identity, however comes from somewhere else, cannot be found in the car we drive, the clothes we wear, or the phone we carry. It is the same with our relationships. No matter how intimate they are simply not able to complete us, only to provide encouragement, support, companionship and comfort.

The undue pressure of providing anything more sets us up for disappointment and when this happens in our relationships it can be the cause of tension, distance, and sometimes even brokenness. Don’t get me wrong, it is good to find enjoyment and satisfaction in our relationships and possessions. However, our desire for fulfillment and completion is not wrong; it is simply that we are only truly satisfied and complete when we find our identity in the One who created us.

It is certainly not wrong to depend on our family and friends. But if left unchecked our unrealistic expectations can become habitual, knock us out of phase and even drive us to idolatry.

One sure fire way to keep our expectations in phase is by looking to God alone for completeness.

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