Disappointment with God
Disappointment with God is one of the unmentionables in the Christian community.
There are some things you don’t talk about.
It’s like family problems that some families prefer to sweep under the rug.
Though everyone in the room is thinking about Aunt Marge’s estranged marriage, nobody dares to talk about it.
As far as Christianity is concerned, everybody in the body of Christ has experienced disappointment, but too many of us are unwilling to talk about it.
The danger with not talking about it is that you will be tempted to internalize your troubles.
This can open the door to all kinds of sins of the heart like unbelief, fear, bitterness, and anger.
Expressing your disappointment with the Almighty is one of those things that is hard to approach or to articulate.
Some would even argue that saying it the way I have framed it here is not the best way to talk about disappointment.
I agree with that to a degree because it can sound like an accusation. When I talk about disappointment with God, I’m not saying it like it’s an accusation toward God. I’m simply saying that I am God’s child and I can be disappointed. Those are two realities for me.
The accent mark goes on me, as far as what is wrong. But it does not preclude me from acknowledging the other person in the relationship–my heavenly Father. Therefore, I think it is helpful, within the right contexts and with the right attitudes, to talk about your disappointments as a Christian–a child of God.
There is a difference between being negative, critical, angry, and bitter versus being honest, vulnerable, transparent, and open to change. If you can talk about your personal disappointments with humility, then you’re in a good place.
The reason it is a challenge for some people to talk about their disappointments is because of the tenuous juxtaposition of inevitable disappointment with God’s sovereignty. Those two big ideas can feel too close to each other. There is a reason for that: they are always contiguous to each other.
Humans will be disappointed. That is not only a given, but a promise from God (Genesis 3:18). And God is in control of all things. He is Sovereign God. At some level of our awareness we know these things to be true. I don’t think it would be wise to ignore these two basic truths:
- The Doctrine of God
- The Doctrine of Sin
A disappointed friend
I was talking with a friend recently