There was an article on the huffington post that I recently read (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wait-but-why/generation-y-unhappy_b_3930620.html). It was about the difference in expectations between Gen Y’s and the Baby boomers. The article gave an equation of Happiness.
Happiness = Reality – Expectations.
One example of this is when we buy something. If we find something cheap that really does a great job, we feel like we have got a real bargain. If we spend a lot of money on something only to find out it is junk we feel disappointed and that someone has sold us a lie.
The article went on to say that Gen Y’s had huge expectations and their reality wasn’t meeting their expectations. This meant that many Gen Y’s were facing disappointment with life. In contrast the Baby Boomer’s had few expectations, having parents who lived through World Wars and The Great Depression and their reality exceeded their expectations. Therefore Baby Boomers were generally happier.
Another way of looking at this is disappointments occur when our reality doesn’t meet our expectations. People face disappointments with God when the reality of God in their life doesn’t meet their expectations.
One of my former leaders told me the story of how she came to faith in Jesus. She was at church and the preacher asked, ‘Do you want love, peace and joy?’ And she thought, ‘Well who doesn’t want that?’ So she responded to the alter call.
Her reality in following Jesus wasn’t just love, peace and joy and then she experienced disappointments with God. She had some questions to ask. Does my disappointment mean that Jesus isn’t real? Or was my expectation wrong? Was I sold a life? What does it really mean to follow Jesus?
Because my former leader had a real relationship with Jesus she was able to work through some of her disappointments. She turned to the Bible, particularly the gospels, and putting aside her preconceived ideas, read for herself who Jesus really is and what he taught.
In an earlier post I talked about how Jesus came to save us from our sins, not from our circumstances. When we are ‘sold’ a Jesus who saves us from our circumstances we are bound to experience disappointment.
With so many people reportedly leaving churches, it makes we wonder, what Jesus they were sold? And what Jesus do I sell to others?