by Steve Jones

This content is part of a series.

Expectation (1 of 4)
Series: The Challenge of Gratitude
Steve Jones
Scripture: Selected Verses

INTRODUCTION: Expectations affect outcomes and attitudes. Parent's expectations affect their children. That's why parents should never call their children stupid or dumb or slow. These accusations simply become self-fulfilling prophecies.

Teacher's expectations affect student performance. In 1968, Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson conducted a famous study that tested the self-fulfilling prophecy theory in a classroom environment. The Oak School Experiment was designed to test the hypothesis that children from whom a teacher EXPECTS greater intellectual growth will display this attribute. Rosenthal and Jacobson randomly designated 20% of the classroom as "special" or "gifted" students. At the end of an eight-month period, they gave the students an IQ test and compared it to previous IQ results. The "special" students were shown to display significant gains over the control group.

God's expectations affect his children as well. And one of God's expectations of us is gratitude. My message today is simply a reminder that God EXPECTS you and me to be thankful, to feel thankful and to express gratitude to Him.

As we get into the month of November I want to do a series of sermons on the challenge of gratitude. I realize that sometimes it can be hard to feel grateful. I realize that a lot of people are not, in fact, characterized by a general attitude of gratitude. How can someone be truly grateful when they have had a loved one die? How can someone be truly grateful when they have a relationship in crises or a serious physical challenge? How can someone be truly grateful when they're in financial crises? All of these can be challenges to an attitude of gratitude. I will address theses challenges specifically in my next three sermons. Today, however, I want us to see that God does indeed expect us to be grateful. After all, if we're not EXPECTE ...

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