I’m going to get real with you and admit that I have been really disappointed in people lately. Really. So I went to the Lord with the problem, assuming He would sympathize. Instead, He said, “I know. Imagine how I feel.”
I have tried convincing myself that the people I’m disappointed in haven’t done anything wrong. That isn’t working. They clearly have done wrong, even by God’s definition. I have tried telling myself that everyone sins. That doesn’t help either. I’m still really disappointed that especially professing Christians are so comfortable with sin. I’m not really sure what I expected God to do to make me feel better–give people a supernatural spanking? Turns out, God gave me one instead. Here it is (ouch!).
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Discipline, while painful at the time, always teaches us something. Here is what I’ve learned. I will be disappointed in people if I compare them to my inflated opinion of myself and yes, even if I compare them to God’s perfect law. To gain victory over disappointment in others, I must keep my eyes focused on the Lord and how *I* look in comparison. Turns out I look like a really bad “before” picture.
There is no question that I am someone else’s disappointment. There is also no question that sometimes we are called to lovingly and honestly talk to others who have hurt us or who are going astray. But remaining stuck in disappointment with others means we need our vision corrected. Thank you, Lord, for helping me see myself more clearly and as a result, loving you more dearly.