I meet with 2 extraordinary women today. They are both beautiful, smart, successful, talented and overall remarkable. But what struck me more than anything else was how they described how their priorities have been shaped by others around them and how they struggle to break free from others expectations and hold to what they know to be true.
This is something I myself have experienced. My husband also struggles. It is a common problem in any higher education. There is so much focus on success and reaching the highest goal that people become so defeated. One of the girls today described to me how she has struggled to fall in line with the expectations of her fellow classmates and faculty. For the expectation others have for us is not always in line with our God given expectations
She described to me the goals she feels like God has given her and how these are different from her mentors and classmates. Her goals are focused on relationships and success of a career as means of providing for a family. She described how she often has to hide these goals from professors for fear of being looked down upon.
Jesus himself experienced this as well. The Jewish nation expected the messiah to be a king of their nation and a political leader. They even tried to force this expectation on him. But God had given Jesus his own expectations that included being a humble servant and human sacrifice.
To me the mark of a good employer, mentor, church or organization is one that encouraged people to reach there God given goals and cares for the individuals health above the goal of the organization. For Jesus told us to love others. When an organizations stops caring about individuals above their mission they have stopped performing Jesus’s greatest commandment.
So to those who struggle with breaking free of others expectations, may you find contentment in Jesus and know his opinion is the only one that matters. And to all may we build organizations that love those bellow us, encouraging and helping them reach their God given goals rather than forcing our own expectations on them in order to reach the “success” we wish to see. Amen.