What Does God Expect From Us?

What does God expect from us?  God expects everything.  However, God’s everything and ours are not usually the same.  When we think of giving God everything, we often think God only wants the worthy stuff, the aspects of our life that are not so broken, not so messed up.  When we think of giving God everything, we think God is not interested in the bad stuff, the dark areas of our life.  As someone recently asked me (with both sarcasm and despair), “why would God want my life?”

God wants our lives because it is all that we have to give Him.  Whatever we imagine our lives should be, we don’t have to give Him.  Whatever we imagine God would want from a life, we don’t have either.  All we have is what we are: awkward and messy, sinful and unworthy.  What we are is what we have, and that’s what God wants us to give him. That’s the everything God wants from us.

Why does God want it?  God wants it because He’s the only one who can fix us, if only we would let Him.  Like children tinkering with a broken toy that we cannot fix, we tinker with our lives: trying one thing then another, improving a little in one area and failing miserably in others.  God waits, patiently and with longing, for us to give up and let Him have our mess.  The Father knows how to fix the broken mess of our lives.

How do we give God everything?  That is something known and learnt in the doing of it.


  1. God does not demand perfection in us. He is not expecting us to measure up. He never thought that we could live the Christian life nor does He expect that we could actually meet His holy standards. If God thought that we could, God would not have come to earth die for us. But Christ did.

  2. Dear Jenny,
    I can’t quite agree with you. While God knows that we will sin and has made provision for that, yet God still expects us to strive for what is good and perfect (that is, perfect as God understands it: perfection is to be like Christ). As Orthodox Christians, we know that there are saints who have attained to a kind of perfection. The perfection is not their own, it comes from participation in the perfection (or Grace) of God. You see no one on their own can avoid sin, but we can dwell in Christ in such a way (as St. John’s epistle tells us) that we do not sin. Not many people actually attain to this, or attain to this very long, but some do and we call them saints.

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