What Are You HANKerin’ For?
Ever seen the Starbucks’ Double-shot Espresso “Hank” commercial? (If not, watch it below.) In it, some hapless-looking 20-something named Hank partakes of the Starbucks’ canned beverage and winds up with an actual cheering section chanting his name wherever he goes.
Now, what does a double-shot of espresso really promise you? Perhaps your favorite coffee flavor? Certainly some energy? What about a cheering section? Would you expect fans to follow you just because you drank a double-shot? No.
But imagine if someone did. Imagine if some naïve individual saw that ad and really expected that. He buys a beverage, pops the top and… nothing happens. He takes a sip. Nothing. He finishes his drink and still hears no music, no cheers, no sound at all. Then imagine him exploding in anger, “WHERE’S MY CHEERING SECTION!?!?! I’VE BEEN RIPPED OFF!!!”
See where wrong expectations leave you? Our simple-minded friend completely missed out on the simple pleasure of his beloved brewed beverage because he was too busy looking for something else. And, ironically, rather than making good use of the caffeine-induced energy boost, he burned off all that energy blowing his top over what he didn’t get from his drink.
Of course, that whole scenario is absurd.
I remember getting tennis shoes that I believed would make me run faster. I bought a car that I was sure would give me more respect. And I have consumed many a food item that I thought would make me feel better. (Still do.) Am I really alone here?
In truth, none of us consciously expects a crowd to chant our name for downing a can of coffee, but what do we subconsciously expect from that next thing?
How many times is our discontentment the result of surreptitious, unrealistic, unmet expectations?
I’ll tell you a secret: it is expectations just like this which sink many a relationship – casual, serious, marital or otherwise. I think they let me down, but if I would stop to analyze my disappointment, I’d discover that I expected more (or something different) from them than I should have.
However, that sort of introspection takes effort. It’s much easier to blame them and subsequently leave them. Problem solved!
Until the next person lets me down for the same reason. And I leave them for the same reason. All the while I’m destined to experience the same scenario over and over and over again, because the source of the problem isn’t their performance, but my wrong expectations.
Don’t fool yourself! That next thing (whether it is marriage or something else) will not guarantee your contentment. In fact, the expectation that it will is the very thing that will sap the pleasure you anticipated receiving from that next thing, when you finally get it.
- Is it easy for you to accept that your current relationship status is part of God’s perfect and complete will for your life right now? Why or why not?
- Can you recognize any patterns in failed relationships that might lead you to believe your expectations are sabotaging your contentment? Why or why not?
- Do you struggle with contentment in other areas of your life (ex. finances, work, home, car, church)?
[This is but a taste of the first book in our discipleship series: Beyond Sex & Salvation. It presents three critical life lessons for relational success; lessons best learned BEFORE you fall in love. Find out more or purchase the book at this link.]
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.
Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!