Is God Disappointed In Me?

I remember it like yesterday, but I can’t read his expression any better in my memory than I could 15 years ago.

It was somewhere between a mix of frustration, disappointment, reservation, compassion and confusion. We’d covered this ground so many times before, Granddad and I, and he was nearing the point of wondering if things would ever change.

Oh please, don’t give up on me, my mind whispered, even as I held back the tears and held my ground—“I’m not going to eat chocolate ice-cream.”

For all of my fifteen years, a visit to Granddad and Grandma’s house had been synonymous with the frozen treat—preferably chocolate and served in a bowl pulled fresh from the freezer. But since anorexia had dug its deceptive claws into my mind, I refused to participate in this sacred tradition.

Looking up at Granddad that night, his unreadable expression branded my heart. I felt like a failure, a stubborn, unrepentant, rebellious failure.

Unlike many others in their battles against an eating disorder, I was blessed to have male authority figures who did their best to represent the Heavenly Father. They loved me, disciplined with gentleness and according to biblical principles. But they weren’t perfect. For a time, I translated that pained expression from grandfather’s face to my belief about God; it hindered my relationship with my perfect Heavenly Father.

In I Corinthians 1:9-10, Paul opens a letter of stern rebuke and uncompromising correction. As I studied those verses, I began to see the truth about how God corrects His children.

“To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge—God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (emphasis added)

The Corinthian church had a lot of problems. They were abusing the Lord’s supper, and engaging in and tolerating sexual sin among other things. However, Paul begins the letter with: “Grace to you.”

That’s how God always addresses us, even in the middle of our failures and repeated mistakes. Even when we’ve sinned and broken His heart, God sees us as the righteousness of God in Christ, simply because we believe in the perfect sacrifice of His Son. Even when we need correction and training in righteousness, God always reminds us that He has given us grace in Jesus Christ, we are enriched in every way because of Jesus, God confirms that Jesus is within us and He will keep us firm to the end because He is faithful.

Chapter 2, Am I Such a Loser?

By far, the chapter I expected to be most affected by in Davis’ book, “10 Things Jesus Never Said,” was chapter three.

You are constantly letting God down.  With every new day, he has a fresh and full slate of hopes and dreams for your life, but by the end of each day, he’s facing the ugly reality that you’ve failed to be all that he hoped you would.  Once again, you haven’t lived up to God’s expectations.  (pg 51)

Again, well-versed Christian that I am, I don’t really believe this, do I?  Well, if our behaviors are the truest indicators of our beliefs, then yes, sadly, I do believe that God is terminally disappointed in me.

Many children formulate their perspective of God in the image of their earthly fathers.  Ironic, since we are made in HIS image, not the other way around.  My father was generous with affection.  He spent plenty of time with each of his daughters and met every one of our needs. However, like all earthly dads, he is human.  And, consequently, so are his daughters.  We made myriad mistakes.  We let him down.  And I remember his grimace, the downturn of the corners of his eyes and the straight lips that pressed together – that face meant Daddy was disappointed.

According to Davis, disappointment has everything to do with expectations.  We set our hopes or expectations on something or someone, and the inevitable shortfall results in disappointment.  He gave a perfect example: You cheer for your favorite sports team, expecting them to do well, when they don’t play up to your expectations, you’re disappointed.

What’s the good news?  What is the truth that exposes the mantra, “You’ve disappointed God,” for the fraud that it really is?

GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING!  HE DOESN’T HAVE A SINGLE EXPECTATION.  FROM THE DAY YOU WERE CONCEIVED AND BEFORE, HE HAS BEEN INTIMATELY AWARE OF EVERYTHING YOU WILL EVER DO.  Therefore, you can’t fail to meet His expectations.

Davis gives a couple of Biblical examples, that you’ll have to read the book to understand.  The Bible has no shortage of flawed heros and heroines.

On a personal note, as I finished this chapter, I remembered God’s word in Matthew 5:48, “But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  In Philippians 2:5, we are told to have the same attitude as Jesus Christ.  Just today, someone I love dearly has disappointed me.  I don’t think I can completely avoid that emotion.  But, Davis’ book has caused me to consider my response to that person.  I don’t want to cause them to despair, as I feel when I believe I have let God down.  I want to love in such a way, that my disappointment resounds with forgiveness, humility and mercy.

AT THE END OF THIS WEEK, I WILL BE GIVING AWAY A COPY OF THE BOOK, “TEN THINGS JESUS NEVER SAID: And why you should STOP believing them.”

MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE A COMMENT SO THAT YOUR NAME WILL BE ENTERED IN THE DRAWING!