When People Disappoint Us
Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem?
We’ve all been there. Those we thought we could depend on, failed us. Those whom we were closest too, didn’t come through. Those we loved deeply, broke our heart. It’s not something new, but it is something that happens to everyone at one time or another in their lives. Do you know what else? Sometimes we are the ones who have failed others, who didn’t come through and who have broken a heart or two…or three. So when this happens, how are we supposed to handle it? With love and forgiveness and realizing people will fail us and we will fail them.
There are several scriptures in the Bible that tell us not to trust in humans and even more scriptures that tell us we must put our trust in God:
Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.
This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land.
Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.
This isn’t to say we shouldn’t rely on people to help us in our time of need or to seek advice from them as Proverbs 15:22 states that plans will fail without counsel but with many advisors they will succeed. It also states in Galatians 6:2 we are to bear each other’s burdens. But there are times when we can put too much focus on what others think or rely on them so much that when they do fail us or are unable to help us, we can find it hard to forgive them, becoming angry and bitter. It makes it harder when it’s someone close to us such as a spouse, child, close relative or friend because we’ve come to value their advice and support. In recovery, sometimes a person can rely so much on their accountability partner that if that person wasn’t available, they would fall. We once knew someone who had this very thing happen. They had three accountability partners and when all three fell back into their old habits and ended up in jail, this person fell as well. This is why it’s extremely important that we strive to have a close relationship with Jesus and put our trust in Him because He will never fail us:
When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.
As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
What this means is that when everyone else forsakes us, God won’t. When no one else can help us, God will. When we have no one else to turn to, God will be there. God is committed and faithful to us. He understands the value of a relationship and what it takes to keep one going. When people get hurt, sometimes several times, their first instinct is to become hurt, angry and walk away. Although God may become hurt and angry (a righteous anger), He will step back but He doesn’t walk away from us. He waits and watches and then when we’ve made a mess of things, and we call out to Him, He is there to help us once again. We see this many times in the Bible with the Israelites. They promised to obey God and follow Him and somewhere down the road they become infatuated with other gods and idols and soon turn away from God. It’s equivalent to a spouse cheating. They cheat on you and you take them back. They cheat on you again but you take them back. After a while you may call it quits. The difference between God and man is that God will continue taking us back, however, this doesn’t mean that we can do anything we want and God will just overlook it. He knows the people whose hearts aren’t truly in their relationship with Him and eventually He will allow them to continue on in their sins and suffer the consequences for it. Yet when we look at the type of relationship God had with people in the Bible, we can identify true love. True love stays the course no matter how difficult the trial. True love continues to love and forgive through hurt and pain. True love looks past the faults of others and seeks to find their goodness and encourage them to rise above their problems and issues. True love seeks resolution to every problem and if no resolution can be found, it doesn’t become bitter and hateful. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, we can find a perfect example of true love:
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…”
This is what we get when we learn to put our trust in God and seek to have a close relationship with Him. This is what He expects from us. He will never fail us or leave us because we make a mistake or stumble. He will, however, convict and correct us when needed because He expects us to be holy. This doesn’t mean to be perfect but it does mean He expects us to be set apart or dedicated to Him because we belong to Him. It’s not about works but it is about change. A change within ourselves as we see in Ephesians 4:22-24:
“that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
When we are faced with situations where people fail or disappoint us, we must realize that no person is perfect and we must learn how to love and forgive so we do not become embittered by their short comings. Disappointment is a normal emotion but when we remember that we, too, can disappoint others, it can help us to have more love and compassion for them. However, the closer we become to God, the easier it will be to get through these situations because we know that in the end, God is in control and He always works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
We are always going to encounter times when people may disappoint us or fail us. There may be a time where they won’t be able to provide for us. We may even be the one to cause the disappointment from time to time. Yet when we stay close to God and continue building our relationship with Him, we can be sure that He will never leave us nor forsake us and that He will never fail or disappoint us. He may not give us everything we want, but He will provide for our every need and gives us more love than we could ever imagine.