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Meditation: Surpassing Expectations – Part I

By Rev Angela C Bosfield Palacious

When we speak to Christians, we tell them what we expect from them concerning their faith. Especially in this upcoming season of Pentecost, we can let them know that the indwelling Holy Spirit will enable them to meet God’s highest expectations.

What do we really believe? Is the following list what we believe as mature christians, and will set as an example for younger christians to follow? Is this what they can expect from us even as we teach what we expect from them?

  1. To know that Jesus Christ is our Saviour and Lord

  2. To know right from wrong

  3. To set Christian standards

  4. To share the word of God

  5. To be able to quote some appropriate Bible verses in certain situations

  6. To be able and willing to pray when asked

  7. To serve in the church in some way

We then say to them that they can do even better, and they can surpass these average expectations. We can challenge them to surpass such a middle of the road approach, reminding them to be such committed christians that the power of God is visible as they influence their generation to godliness. We can motivate them to consider peer pressure as offering a godly example, an assertive witness, a strong challenge and convicting rebuke.

We can be their caring companions, encouraging them to stay in the Word, to be constant in prayer, crying out on behalf of the people of the nation, to surpass the average young person their age by being passionate, persevering and protective of the things of God. They may very well become the righteous remnant if it comes to only a small number of Bahamians obeying God.

When it comes to family, we all know that we are to honour our parents, and that from an early age, we are expected to make our beds, keep our rooms tidy, and assist with family duties. Every family member is expected to be a team player, which means, as a junior member, following instructions, helping with younger siblings, and being kind and courteous.

This is a minimum standard that we ought to require for all homes, just as we want indoor plumbing, electricity, and adequate shelter for everyone, so too we desire basic moral and spiritual requirements. We expect homes to be free from violence, abuse, incest, addictions and other dysfunctional behaviour. Where such behaviour is found, it is to be considered totally unacceptable.

Our lesson concerning excellence will need to be very direct when we declare: “You are to surpass these expectations.” You are to have reverence for God and respect for your parents or guardians, learning everything you can from their wisdom. You are to be the ones who volunteer to help at home, asking what more you can do because you know that the more discipline you practice now, the better you will run your own home.

Furthermore, we can all aim for our example, instruction, and expectations for the next generations, to produce higher national standards, especially when it comes to family life:

  1. You are going to be the married couples who pray, play and work together

  2. You will be faithful best friends, and lovers who waited until marriage to have sex

  3. Your home is going to be the magnet that draws others

  4. You will agree to disagree without being disagreeable

  5. There will be no cursing, domestic violence or pornography in your home

  6. You will not be perfect but you will be perfect for one another

  7. You will celebrate being chosen for each other by God

  8. You will apologise when wrong

  9. You will forgive when hurt

  10. You will be able to heal earlier and more completely (with help if necessary)

  11. These are just some ways to surpass our expectations as you grow in grace, and as you raise children who can pass this on

• Rev Angela Palacious, a motivational speaker and author of several devotional books, is an Anglican priest. She may be contacted at 393-9000 or by e-mail at angelapalacious@gmail.com.

We have to determine our nation’s vision and labour toward higher moral and spiritual principles and values. Just as we expect our people who are able to make some contribution to nation building to so do, we can also expect our people to work hard at being people of integrity and spiritual prosperity with virtues that will stand us in good stead in the future: “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves.” (Psalm 127:1-2) NIV)

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