Expectations

Father: “Son, when Abraham Lincoln was your age, he walked seven miles to school.”
Son: “Dad, when Abraham Lincoln was your age, he was president!”
We are usually pretty quick to see how others should behave; we have high expectations … for them! We instinctively know what someone else should do to handle their problems, and have a blind spot for our own failures. We have cliches for their solutions, but feel that our own problems are “more complicated,” and therefore require our bending the rules a little.
“Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them … When Peter saw him, he asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me'” (John 21:20-22).
Jesus’ sharp reply to Peter’s query about John is almost shocking, until you think of his final exhortation:
“You must follow me.”
Following Jesus is a full-time job, engaging enormous resources of will and concentration. Those who are engulfed in this consuming task will have little time for setting standards for others, or trying to control their lives.
What was Jesus doing when he was your age?

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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