Your expectation of what you thought they would say or do falls short and you are disappointed.
Someone you trusted is caught in a lie. A friend who is loyal is found to have broken your confidence. A family member who you held in high regard is shown to be deceitful.
I recently had an experience of finding out that a person I thought of as one of integrity was part of an aggressive, foolish act. It left me feeling deflated, a bit confused, and very disappointed. As I was sitting at a red light, fighting tears, I handed it to God. I asked Him what I was supposed to do with it.
And He reminded me of the life of Moses. I was prompted to dive a bit deeper and so I took a walk through the books of Exodus and Numbers. Time and time again Moses was disappointed by God’s chosen people, the Israelites. Either they were complaining, disobeying, or doubting. Moses was chosen to lead these people and over and over again they questioned his motives, and God’s, and often asked to just go back to Egypt. But Moses’ life can show us a few things that we can do when we are faced with the disappointment of others.
- Examine your own heart. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit…and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 It can be easy to find the fault in others. As we work through the disappointment in other’s words and actions, let’s continue to go back to scripture, using it to examine our own motives and to see what sin needs rooted out of our own hearts.
- Seek God’s glory. “Moses said, ‘Please show me your glory.’” Exodus 33:18 Moses had just finished having a conversation with God about the “stiff-necked” people that God had assigned to Moses. Moses was charged with taking them across a desert and into the Promised Land. It had to look like a huge and intimidating task. Moses knew the only way he was going to make it through was by God’s power, and so he was looking for reassurance of that. People are going to disappoint us. They’re humans, that’s what they do. And we can be consumed with these set-backs if we keep our focus on human, earthly weaknesses. But, if we keep our gaze on our unchanging, powerful Father, who works all things for good, the disappointments can be held loosely in our hands, and more easily let go.
- Intercede for others. “The next day Moses said to the people, ‘You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.’” Exodus 32:30 During one of the many times that the Israelites had their priorities misaligned, Moses sought out God on their behalf. We can’t go as far as to atone for anyone’s sins, but we can bring our prayers and petitions to God. Since God is the one who truly knows the whole disappointing situation, everyone’s side to the story, and each person’s heart intention, He is the one who can do the necessary work in each heart. Pray for wisdom on whether a conversation needs to happen or if prayer is the one route to take.
- Find sound counsel. “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone.’” Numbers 11:16-17 This isn’t an invitation to gossip. No one needs to know the intricate details of your disappointment. But, sharing your feelings and thoughts about being disappointed can help you find encouragement and direction. Seek someone out who you trust and is one that is well read in God’s Word. Someone who you know will be honest with you and will point you in the right direction if you’ve veered off the narrow path.
You’re turn. What do you do when someone disappoints you? Which one of the above 4 steps resonated with you the most?