Now Playing: Great Expectations

It’s the time of year for Christmas plays, Choirs, Cantata’s and the re enactment of the birth of Jesus complete with a manger. Many of you are starring in your own drama but you have not yet realized there is a script that has been written specifically for you and so you find yourself fumbling over your lines and wrought with stage fright.

Enter stage right. The three main characters in the Christmas pageant you find yourself in is called “Great Expectations, Tales of Dysfunction”. Unlike the three Wise men who came to worship the baby Jesus this trio comes to steal our joy, rob us of peace and drive a wedge into our relationships. This power trio can be found all year round, but they tend to get more dramatic around the holidays.

Allow me to introduce you to Entitlement, Envy and Enabling. All three are masters of disguise, cunning and extremely proficient in the art of dissension. And just like Aunt Nelda they can be found at any family function or holiday gathering ready to feast on who lay before them like an all you can eat buffet.

Entitlement, Envy and Enabling are the children of Expectation. Expectation is a selfish, demanding mother who is never satisfied and always wants more. Expectation has raised her offspring to be subtle, savvy and secretive. She requires her children to take up residence and rule over their subject with skill and finesse so as not to be detected.

So just what is it about Entitlement, Envy and Enabling that make them lousy houseguests? Take a look at their bio’s and see if you can identify their presence in your heart and relationships.

Entitlement’s role is to convince you that you deserve everything you think you should have. After all, you work hard why shouldn’t you indulge in that purchase, or an extra helping of dessert or that lingering flirtation with your co – worker. When Entitlement is really on his game, you are blissfully unaware of his existence and he continues his assault on your soul.

Envy on the other hand is highly skilled at pointing out all the things others have and creating a, “need to have it” mentality. Envy operates on our sense of comparison and the idea that in order to be happy we must obtain, acquire and possess in larger and larger amounts so we are better and have more than our friends, families and co workers.

And finally there is Enabling. She seems harmless enough. Cute, cuddly and unassuming, Enabling is greatly underestimated. Her role is to create unhealthy alliances within families that allow for destructive behavior to be justified and encouraged. Enabling is often able to avoid being caught by relying on her good intentions and relational skills.

In small doses this threesome can be manageable, but in the same way you are anxious for your relatives and their whiney kids to go home after a weekend visit, these three become unruly and get on your last nerve. Eventually you’ll be ready to send these three packin.

If you find yourself feeling bullied this holiday season by the cast of “Great Expectations, Tales of Dysfunction” know that God is the ultimate playwright and He has cast His Son as the leading man. He has written your story and desires for you to have peace, joy and healthy relationships free of justification and jealousy.

Are you willing to read from the script that has been written just for you, or are you going to continue to allow Expectation and her cast of characters to run the show?

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3 thoughts on “Now Playing: Great Expectations

  1. Melissa Yue says:

    Hi Karen. I am going step out of my Santa Jammies in which I have been lounging in all morning. I have made a plan to relax this season and to demand fewer expectations of myself during the school day this Christmas season.  Less feelings of stress, anxiety, and hopefully less frequent feelings of depression from menopause. This is a concern anytime, not just Christmas, but it is tougher in this season. I am going to Columbia Mall to shop to look for the little things that Anna and David said they would like in their stockings…. just for the wish to show  them that  that I listened to them. I do not need to shop for my husband because he really does not care about presents. He buys them himself (tools, gadgets). But sometimes I wish something would jump out at me  that would be a surprise. We are not getting gifts for under the tree, but instead headed to NYC on the 26th to enjoy the festive things the city has to offer to make good memories. I am praying we might laugh and laugh some more. 

    With great expectations from our great God.
    Melissa

  2. Heather says:

    LOVE this!  I wrote something similar a couple of weeks ago, but I like yours better! 😉  I love how you dramatized the personality flaws into actual characters.  Expectations get me every time.  As soon as I start feeling resentment, envy, and  stress I know my expectations are not in check.  I start feeling like other people just aren’t measuring up.  In reality, I’m angry at myself for not meeting my own expectations.  I thank God for my Savior who has opened my eyes to myself and who gently reveals truth into my life. Oh, His amazing grace! 🙂  

    Merry Christmas, Karen! 🙂

    • KAREN COOK says:

      Oh Heather – how I love your heart. I just went to your blog and it seems you and I are on a similar journey with balancing life, priorities & expectations. Thank you for sharing your heart and story. I too am so thankful for the love, grace and mercy the Lord shows me daily as I attempt to walk with Him instead of in front of Him.  May the Lord show Himself to you in new ways this Christmas!  

      Merry Christmas Heather! 

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