I would like to write briefly on a topic that has caused me much consternation over the last few months, disappointment. Small confession, I disappoint myself all day long. This is not once a week, mind you, nor is it every other day, but all day long. It’s not the bigger matters of life everyone goes through either; finances, loneliness, general productivity, or even romantic relationships. The Lord has blessed me with a financially fiscal mind, a supreme delight in a theology of contentment with regard to solitude, a restless demeanor with regard to productivity, and well… I’m in no romantic relationship so that’s a moot topic.
No, the disappointments I face are of a personal matter, failure to live up to my own perception of what I should be doing.
Most all of my life I have heard the boasting of other people towards the things and disposition I express outwardly. Whether it be at my place of employment, friendships, manners, encouragement, studies, or even those physical activities some people call “exercise.”
The few times I’ve been, for lack of a better term “called out,” on my failings in these areas, I’ve always sought to correct them and grow in efficiency. Not because I’m stubborn and need to, “Show them what’s what,” but because I’ve always been one to take criticism as objective. I care little where the criticism is coming from or how the person giving it intends it come across, I normally take it in stride and grow through it (no matter its relevance).
It may sound odd, but my biggest disappointment is that I am afraid of being disappointing. After all, the God I serve, the one who decreed that he would ransom my life with the blood of his son. The one I call Lord, who gave of himself freely without cost on my end so that I my have life abundantly. The Spirit that indwells me so as to empower me to follow the God I love and the Lord I seek to please, gives me testimony that I should be like him. Consider the words from the letter to the Hebrews,
Hebrews 13:5(NET Bible)
Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.”
My displacement in life should be viewed in light of the fact that God is entirely consistent. His perfect care is what should motivate me to be ever and always striving to not disappoint anyone.
And even further,
For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
I chose this translation for a purpose. It is the translation I grew up in my formative years studying, and when I spent a considerable amount of time a few years ago studying my faith anew it was the one I returned to time and again. It is the passage I landed on whenever I came across some subject that racked my brain to the point of needing a walk to compose the tears that enveloped in fear. Fear of failing to understand, in what small minutia I am able, the ramifications of believing the good news of what God has done through Jesus Christ, i.e., disappointing myself.
I know I will never succeed in this life from disappointing someone. But, and this is by no means a good statement, the less I branch out and try something I am afraid to do(resulting in disappointing someone else), the greater probability I will be less disappointing.
I know there is potential in my own soul to fail where others have as well. Be it in a marriage, leadership, fatherhood, friendship, or a litany of other endeavors. I know I will even have those things listed in the first few words as disappointments(in my own mind). Even being afraid to disappoint is a disappointment. All I can do is stand on the objective fact that I have a sovereign God who, with his Spirit, works all things after the council of his will; all things according to his good pleasure; all things for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.
I have to do everything possible to branch out and not be afraid to disappoint, for my God cannot disappoint me…
And that is one of my greatest comforts.