Today I wanted to chat with you about disappointment. Since we are human there’s a chance we’ve been disappointed or will disappoint someone. We are not perfect only God is perfect.
We also live in a world that is filled with wickedness and sin. One of the most damaging sins is selfishness. It destroys so many relationships. Couple it with insecurity and you have a perfect storm.
There are people that state since God loves us, He’s approving of all our misdeeds. This is untrue. We can grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).
God loves us as we are. He doesn’t approve of everything we do. Look at these verses from Genesis 6.
The Lord saw that the wickedness (depravity) of man was great on the earth, and that every imagination or intent of the thoughts of his heart were only evil continually. The Lord regretted that He had made mankind on the earth, and He was [deeply] grieved in His heart,~Genesis 6:5-6.
So if you’re suffering from disappointment in relationships, God understands how you feel.
Before we blame the other party, let’s talk a bit more about disappointment.
Disappointment is linked to expectation.
- If perfection is expected in a relationship it leads to major disappointment. God is the only one who does not fail. We can place all confidence in Him. People come with flaws and some with major baggage. Grace empowers us to love and receive love. We are not perfect, therefore we cannot demand it from others.
Our brokenness attracts others who are broken.
- For a long time I attracted people who were super critical, judgmental, and harsh. It’s the opposite of my natural bend. Yet I attracted them and was affected by their behavior. I found because of someone in my family who wounded me deeply through the same behaviors I was attracting the same type of person to deepen that wound. The wound in my soul from childhood needed healed. Since the wound has been healed, I no longer attract people who are critical, harsh, or judgmental. If I do cross paths with them, I’m not affected by their behavior. It rolls right off.
- So if you’re attracting toxic behaviors from people, there may be a wound on your soul. Ask God to highlight anything in you that’s attracting the same situations. He will answer.
- The same goes for attracting abusers, cheaters, bad friends.
Pay attention to what you tolerate.
- I’ve been the most disappointed by people who say “I love you,” and their actions are so far from love. I learned I was tolerating things I shouldn’t. As soon as I stopped tolerating certain things the person either walked away or changed. If the bar is set low, there can be no complaints when people behave poorly. Love others, love yourself.
- Whether it’s friendship or dating, stop settling. Settling for less than God’s most excellent best is a sure way to end up disappointed!
Don’t expect reciprocation.
- Giving or loving to get something from people is manipulation. It’s a form of control as well. God is the rewarder when we do the right things to bring Him glory.
- People may never, ever return the love you give them or have given them. So it must be done with a free hand, with no expectation of return from the person you’re serving or loving.
Understand your love does not change people.
- This is a lie women are often told. If you love this person enough they will change or love you back. Wrong. God loves perfectly and people reject Him. I’ve seen beautiful, lovely, kind women still end up dumped or abused or cheated on. The other person must love themselves and change based on what God is doing in their life.
Don’t seek a fixer upper. Don’t date or befriend someone for potential.
- It’s a big fat trap that ties into not settling. I was with someone for a long time based on his potential. Guess what? He never reached his potential. Nope. He’s still (to my knoweldege) in a similar place.
Don’t mistake ministry or charity for relationship.
- If you’re giving, serving and that’s it. It’s ministry or charity. If you attempt to treat a ministry assignment like a friendship you will be disappointed.
- Friends encourage, support, are there for you, care about you, want what’s best for you, and bring life. They don’t just take from you.
Take your time getting to know people.
- I’m the same all the time. Meaning I’m not putting on a front so people like me. I’m the same at work, at home, in the beginning of the relationship to the end. Not everyone is that way. If you don’t take the time to figure out who the person really is, it leads to major disappointment!
- Ask God to show you who the person really is. It’s my favorite prayer! God always answers.
There was a guy years back who was trying to get to know me and I prayed for God to show me who he really was. I kept having dreams of him hiding behind grey screens, in shady places. I kept praying. I finally got out of him that he was essentially faking relationship with God. I was able to bypass his deceptive schemes through prayer and seeking God. I recommend praying God show me who this person really is for friendships and dating.
I’ve invested quite a bit of my life in relationships. Giving, serving, loving, etc…the circle of people around me I trust truly love me is small. It’s very small. That’s okay. Have I been disappointed, yes greatly. Oh so much. Have I disappointed people, probably. I try to be good to everyone, yet you never know. Yet the Lord has revealed that no one suffered more than Jesus. He loved and loves perfectly (I do not). Those He came to save betrayed Him greatly, denied Him, wouldn’t stay up to pray with Him, refused to believe Him. So no matter what we do, there may or will be disappointments with fallen humanity.
We have a choice: offense or forgiveness, isolation or community, woundedness or healing, wisdom or foolishness, staying the same or creating change.
I’m super encouraged by the story of Joseph. His brothers sold him into slavery and so many people failed him. God did not. God gave Him a position that saved the lives of many. There’s hope in God for a better future.
People will hurt you, it’s up to you to either stay wounded or let God heal. We all need God’s amazing grace! We all need mercy. Forgiveness and mercy does not mean you are required to be in relationship with that person. It means you release that person or group of people to God. You refuse revenge. You refuse bitterness. You give it all to God. And you pray for them the way you’d want someone to pray for you.
Part of overcoming disappointments is trusting God with relationships. He does exceedingly and abundantly, above all we could ask or imagine.
Praying you are blessed beyond measure with outstanding relationships.