Monday, September 8, 2014

Can I Disappoint God? by Martin Wiles

Series: Hey God…I Have a Question

I was the first born among three children. As the oldest, my parents had high hopes for me. I’m not sure what they were—they never shared them, but it was evident when I disappointed them. Education was one area. Their dream for me was to do well in high school and follow this with college. Yet I wouldn’t hear of it. I hated school. Eventually, I did attend—and even earned post graduate degrees, but not because they desired it.

Disappointment was the difference between my parent’s desires and my actions. Had they known I would sooner or later attend college, they may not have been disappointed. But God knows everything. How can I disappoint him? Then they cried to the LORD again and confessed, “We have sinned by turning away from the LORD and worshiping the images of Baal and Ashtoreth.” (I Samuel 12:10 NLT)

God has standards for his children as my parents did for me. In the Old Testament, the basics are the Ten Commandments. No stealing, lying, murdering, worshipping false gods, etc. In the New Testament, Jesus sums them up in two: love him and love others (Matthew 22:36-40). Paul condenses it further when he maintains the entire law is summed up in one command: love your neighbor (Galatians 5:14). If God knows I’m going to fall short of any of these, can he be disappointed when I do? 

The answer depends on my definition of disappointment. When it’s a feeling of surprise because something unexpected happened, the answer is no. God is never taken by surprise. On the other hand, if it’s a feeling of being let down because I failed to reach a certain standard, then yes he can. God knows ahead of time what sins I will commit. My actions may disappoint him, but he’s never disappointed in me as a person. I’m his creation…his child, and he loves me unconditionally. 

When you disappoint God with your actions, simply confess. Then address what needs your attention so you won’t repeat the failure.

Prayer: Thank You Father for Your unconditional love that always gives us more chances to please You after we’ve disappointed You. 

Do you have a story of how you overcame disappointment? Share it with us. 

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