Bill Belichick

Disappointing God

dis·ap·point verb \ˌdis-ə-ˈpȯint\ : to make (someone) unhappy by not being as good as expected or by not doing something that was hoped for or expected

Psalm 14:3 … there is no one who does good, not even one.

I often feel like I must be such a disappointment to God. Like he must have a pained look on his face whenever he thinks about me. I wonder, is this accurate, or just an assumption informed by my own shame?

When I examine the definition of “disappoint”, I see an element of failed expectations. While the Bible teaches that God has a very high standard—perfection—the standard itself is distinctly different from God’s expectation of us. If his expectation of me was perfection, he would be overwhelmingly disappointed with me and every other human ever to walk the earth, with the notable exception of Jesus. In fact, it would seem logical that God’s expectations for all of us include failure. That seems counter-intuitive to me, but how else can you explain his intricate plan to redeem us at such a high cost to him? I don’t believe he is surprised by my need to be rescued; because his rescue is motivated by his deep love for you and me, he is heartbroken when we turn away from him. It’s this heartbreaking, this incredible love, that moves him to act in a redemptive manner toward us.

But isn’t his heartbreak basically the same as being disappointed? I think not. On the surface they sound almost interchangeable, but on closer examination they are significantly different. When God is heartbroken, he is outwardly focused on the subject of his heartbreak (you & me). Where there is disappointment, the primary focus is inward (self). Since I am often more inwardly focused, I tend to be more predisposed to disappointment than heartbreak. Unfortunately, this makes it easy for me to falsely project that God must be disappointed with me. This can taint my entire view of his motives in relationship to me. I end up with shame about who I am, which is in direct opposition to God’s perspective about who I am (Romans 8:1).  When I remove this dirty lens and see God’s heart with a clear eye, it’s overwhelming to me. He is warm, inviting, open armed, loving, and merciful. He delights in me. Yes, delights!

When Jesus says, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.”, I don’t hear disappointment, I hear a breaking heart. This is the heart of God seeking our redemption out of his love for us.

Dear Father, please remind me that my failures do not surprise you, but they do break your heart. Remind me of your loving, merciful demeanor which enables me to come out of darkness and walk in the light with you. Amen.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Elise Amendola

1 reply
  1. Amrit
    Amrit says:

    Life is a cruel placeIt all starts with the very first facea0You are bughort home to a mom and dad who are so happyYour house is just perfecta0Then as you grow evil starts to seep inYou grow worn and crackedAlways looking behind your backYour parents start to fighta0Suddenly you can hate better than you can loveYou can lie quicker than you can confessEvery bad day is more weight on your chestThe air deosnt taste quite so goodThe faces you once loved are uglyThe sun reminds you of day’s when you were younger and happiness wasnt a goal or an empty promiseWhen love was in abundancea0But we get greedy and lustful and prideful and ignorant and selfishAnd we loose sight of who we area0We forget those sunny happy days with the ones we lovea0The grass really was greenerThe air was sweeterWhat I’d give to go back for just a dayWhat id pay for just one dayAnd it would be my last dayI would live there in that heaven then end myself before I came back to this hellI would shut my eyes in that warm sun and that green grassI would let my worries passAs my parents hugged eachother like they used toAnd my brother would talk to me and we would laugh and playOh what I’d pay for just one more day

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