We expect that others will see us as we see ourselves, but they rarely do.

The next day two of them were fighting and he tried to break it up, told them to shake hands and get along with each other: ‘Friends, you are brothers, why are you beating up on each other? The one who had started the fight said, ‘Who put you in charge of us? Are you going to kill me like you killed that Egyptian yesterday?’ When Moses heard that, realizing that the word was out, he ran for his life and lived in exile over in Midian. During the years of exile, two sons were born to him. Acts 7:26-28 (The Message)

Moses had reclaimed his identity as a Hebrew and had a zeal from God to bring about their deliverance. Unfortunately his fellow Hebrews saw him as a murderer, someone without the moral authority that he felt he now possess. Moses sought to speak to two of his fellow Hebrews who were fighting in order to get them to stop. Their response was to focus, not on Moses’ new found sense of calling from God, but on his actions in killing the Egyptian the day before.

I remember when I first became a follower of Jesus, I expected that everyone would see the transformation that was taking place in my heart. Instead, the remanent of the old life still remained as their predominant understanding of who they saw before them. My words of encouragement to faith and following Jesus often fell short because they remembered the vain, selfish, stupid, actions of my former years. In time, some of those people have come to see the transformation and others still remain more comfortable remembering  my past life. I, through the passage of time, have come to surrender my expectations of others and increase those of myself.

May our expectations of what others see in us today be measured by our expectations of ourselves to lead others in following Jesus by the example we set above the words we speak. Amen.