Expect the expected

“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense”  Proverbs 19:11 (NIV)

We have heard the saying, “expect the unexpected”. That can be good, but I would like to also suggest that we “expect the expected”.

Sports coaches, players, and fans should expect that the refs will make at least a few bad calls. Spouses can’t be surprised when (not “if”) something is said that is hurtful. Parents shouldn’t go into shock when their teenager does something stupid. Friends need to be aware that they will get offended by selfishness. Teachers can’t be taken back when a student turns on them…

The key is to have a plan. There are times we need to let an offense slide by. There are times that offenses need to be addressed. But if we are ready (expecting, praying in advance and right after), our reactions to offenses can be much more productive. Offenses can actually help us develop our personal character and our “patience muscle”.

We can watch our reactions this week. Reactions are good indicators on how we are doing. It is worth it to use these hurtful moments to allow God to grow our character and patience. How we approach this can be a relationship builder, or a relationship killer.


Heavenly Father, give me Your strength to handle offenses. Use them to develop me. Prepare me to expect the expected, and to tap into You for my reactions. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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