"to whom much is given..."
I'm disappointed in a friend of mine. She made a decision that she shouldn't have made, and though I have forgiven her for the hurt it caused me, I can't seem to rid myself of my disappointment.
And I know other people who have done the same thing, but only this friend has left me with lingering disappointment. Why? Because I expected more of her. She is young, but mature, and wise beyond her years; she has seen other people made the same decision, and she knew it wasn't right and yet somehow she talked herself into thinking it would be okay for her. I hope it's not judgmental of me to be disappointed in her. I know it's because I love her, and I hold her in high esteem. After all, if I had a low opinion of her, then nothing she did would disappoint me, right?
And that's the hard part. When we expect a lot of someone, it hurts more when they let us down.
Sometimes my Awesome Girl ~ who's a bit of a perfectionist ~ can't understand why I'm proud of her even though she has turned in a school paper that is less than perfect. It's because I'm not expecting perfect. I'm expecting the work of a student who is learning: some right, some wrong, and steadily improving in a subject or specific material. This is how we judge people. If you gave a 6th grader an assignment of 11th grade material, you would not expect it to be done very well. But if you give a 6th grader as assignment of 2nd grade material, you would expect a very good showing.
Or it's like a parent punishing their kids, and maybe giving the older one a longer sentence because "you should have known better."
I think that God expects a lot of me. And maybe you, too. I've been a child of His, of my own volition, for most of my life. I have attended church and studied the Bible and made it my goal to live a life that pleases Him. And of course, I often fall, which He knows I'm going to. Mistakes happen. But when I make a poor decision, when I know better, I wonder if that disappoints Him more than someone else making that same decision.
My thinking on this subject led me to this verse in Luke. The phrase "to whom much is given, much will be required" is one of those phrases we sometimes hear bandied about, often in terms of money ~ like rich people should donate more to charity. But in Luke, it has to do with knowledge of Jesus Christ. It's in a parable, about a servant who misbehaves while his master is away. The servant who knew his master's will, but did not do his will, will be disciplined more than a similarly-misbehaving servant who did not know his master's will.
I hate the thought that I sometimes disappoint Him, though I know there's really no getting around it. But somehow it encourages me to know that He expects a lot of me. Makes me want to try. And I know that pleases Him.
~ "Blessed is the faithful and wise steward,
whom the master will find so, when he comes" ~