WHEN I AM MY OWN DISAPPOINTMENT
When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me. Jeremiah 8:18
Disappointing others is crippling enough, but disappointing myself can be devastating. I wonder if I’ll ever find the way out of sadness and self-hatred. What seems to complicate it is when I believe my disappointment in myself matches God’s disappointment in me. No one can convince me otherwise. But you know how it is. Feelings can be strong and they are based on truth and based on lies. How do I tell the difference? What is the way out of this maze that threatens to hold me captive for a lifetime?
For much of my life, my achievements were an attempt to prove I was not a disappointment. Motives are always complicated so mixed up in there was also a love for Jesus and a desire to see people find His heart. While I wanted people to experience His unconditional love, I was often the last to find pleasure reflected in His eyes for me. I was my own worst critic, building an ironclad case as to why I was disqualified from favor. A nagging sense of failure wrapped itself around my soul like a cloak I couldn’t remove.
Did God’s love break through? Yes. One day the light of truth dawned brightly. I realized that because God’s burning desire is for intimacy, if there is a breech in our relationship, He pinpoints the issue, encourages repentance, and offers instant restoration. A nagging sense of ‘anything’ that keeps me from enjoying His love is not from Him. He reveals specifics, extends mercy, and brings closure.
If your life is characterized by disappointment in yourself, here are some suggestions:
- Ask Him if He is disappointed and expect Him to reveal exactly why if the answer is yes.
- If He convicts you of something specific, deal with it right then, repent of it if needed, accept His mercy, and accept, by faith, that you and He are right with each other.
- If God reveals nothing in prayer, then realize that the problem is within your own heart. Here’s something to think bout. If God is not disappointed in you, should you be disappointed in yourself? Isn’t that arrogance, to disagree with God?
To every one of you who shares a self-critical spirit, who holds yourself to such high standards that you focus on yourself rather than God’s grace, consider this passage that keeps my head on straight. Everyday it brings me perspective.
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Hebrews 12:1-3 THE MESSAGE