People Are Disappointing
I wrote and recorded this about nine months ago, but work, house projects and everything else that consumes my life got in the way of being able to complete it. I kept a post-it on my computer to remind me to finish it. Finally, I did!
I take what I share with the world very seriously. I spent a lot of time reflecting on the words I had written, made sure that I could support what I was saying with scripture, and reached out to one of my wonderful mentors. This is no flippant thing.
Whether you choose to watch the video or just read the words (they are the same), my prayer is that you hear my heart in this.
People are disappointing. I’m disappointing! Let’s just get that out there. Now, can some be encouraging? Inspiring? Thoughtful? Absolutely! But let’s just be real here. People are disappointing.
If you are thinking of someone right now and saying, “so and so has NEVER disappointed me” well then I say graciously that you probably haven’t spent enough time with them just yet. Just wait. They will.
I’m not trying to sound negative. I’m just being real. No human is perfect. No human being can meet all of your expectations.
Most of our frustrations, anger, times of depression are ultimately rooted in the fact that we expected something from a certain person, group or entity and it, or they, let you down.
We can even put ourselves on a pedestal and then let ourselves down and then we can get in a funk over it, but I’m not getting into that right now.
There is this worship of people and placing them on pedestals where they don’t belong. This idolizing of people, expecting them to save you, your state, or your country is all so unhealthy. There is not a single person on this planet that will meet every single one of your expectations.
Now, how do we come to terms with that? My answer? Jesus.
Now, before we continue, I want you to check yourself. What just stirred up inside of you when you read his name? Anger? Doubt? Laughter? Relief? Curiosity? Hope? Whatever emotion that immediately came out of you is a good indicator of what level of disappointment is in him.
See, every human being, whether they want to admit it or not at some point in their life, thought about or believed in God because that’s how He made them (Genesis 1:26), but something happened that disappointed them, hurt them, devastated them to the point where they turned their back on Him (Romans 1:18-32). They stopped paying attention to him. They were so angry at him that they decided that he was a crappy God and that they could go about life in a much better way without Him.
And so they go down this path with this false expectation that they are smarter than God. They can make better decisions than Him. And then that carries over into relationships. Because they reign in their own life, they put other people on pedestals that they don’t belong on.
They expect better out of these people. They expect better from their spouses, their friends, their boyfriends, their girlfriends. They expect more from their boss. They expect more from an organization. They expect more from their parents. They expect more from their governor or their president.
Can I just help you now by saying that none of them will satisfy? Oh, you might be happy with the relationship that you have, or that job, or that organization, or that governor or that president right now, but it’ll change. They might change. You change. And then in comes that disappointment, frustration, anger, depression.
How can I be so bold to say such things? I’ve been there! And I still catch myself doing it sometimes! Through my disappointments, moments of anger and depression I have learned that Jesus never disappoints. Jesus doesn’t change. He doesn’t get his period. He doesn’t lose his job. He doesn’t divorce you. He doesn’t go bankrupt. He doesn’t misunderstand you. He never leaves you.
He is available at every second of every day at every breath. He is behind you. He is in front of you. He is right next to you all at the same time. And can I add to my brothers and sisters in Christ, that his spirit is IN you (Romans 8). Let that sink in.
When you allow Jesus to reign in your life and not a friend, relative, spouse, virus, organization, governor or president, he puts things into proper perspective for you. He reminds you that all of what’s happening is fleeting.
God has a reason for and has allowed every circumstance to happen. You have two choices with what you want to do with that. You can look at what’s happening and get angry at Him for not doing what you expected or you can ask him why he allowed it. Be honest with him. And then ask what it is he wants to teach you through it.
The reality is that we don’t live in a perfect world (Genesis 3, Romans 5:12). It’s a broken world full of broken people (Romans 3:23). It won’t be like this forever, but until Jesus returns to repair it (Revelation 21:1-5), this is our reality (John 14:1-4).
Please don’t misunderstand me. God hates every pain he sees you endure. He hates death. He hates injustice. He hates evil. He hates selfish ambition. He hates pride. He didn’t make the world to be like this.
He allowed sin to enter it because he loved his creation (meaning YOU) so much that he wasn’t going to force you into having a relationship with him and loving him back (Genesis 2:8-9, 16-17, 3:1-24).
We are given a choice to either acknowledge he and his son, Jesus or reject him (Romans 10:9, John 3:16, John 14:6). That’s the greatest form of love (Revelation 3:20). To love someone so much that they allow you to choose your own path knowing that one will be full of purpose, guided by him and ultimately with him and the other will ultimately lead to death (Matthew 7:13-14, John 10:10). But before that happens, he will not stop pursuing you until your dying breath.
How does he pursue? A lot of ways, but one way is through people. Those same, stinky, imperfect people that will disappoint you also have the ability to point you to Jesus. Like me, right here, right now, an imperfect willing vessel.
The Bible is also a world changer. It’s not only a handbook inspired by the spirit of God (2 Timothy 3:16), but it also has the power to transform you if you allow it to. Start reading it and if you don’t know where to start, ask someone you know who knows Jesus and they will gladly direct you (I recommend the books of John and Romans!).
Can I encourage you for a second? When you are feeling weary, run to Jesus (Matthew 11:28). When you are feeling angry, run to Jesus (James 1:19-20). When you are terrified of what is to come, run to Jesus (Joshua 1:9).
And, let me remind you, as I remind myself, that people will disappoint, especially those whom you expect much out of. Try not to be surprised when they do. Be grateful and embrace those moments when they don’t. They are not God. Remove them from the pedestal that you put them on and replace them with Jesus.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." 2 Timothy 2:1-3