The Letdown by Christians
One of the harshest lessons you will learn as a Christian, and even as a human being is disappointment. But more so the disappointment that comes with naively putting your expectations in Christians and by extension Christian leaders.
It is difficult not to do so though, because it is a natural reaction.
You meet people who speak of God’s will with such eloquence that you are utterly swept up. You embrace them without much reservation. They even seem to walk the talk. Nonetheless, as you get to know people and do life with them you will begin to see the curtain of pretense slip away.
What can be even more devastating, is when you approach that individual to discuss the matter, in love, and they shun you like a plague and are not repentant or open. Maybe even malice you.
I have seen this happen over and over again. I have experienced deep hurt and disappointment on too many occasions to count. It will happen with your pastors, choir directors, church friends, parents, relatives, work mates, leaders and your friends. The recurrence can send you in any of two directions; to God for answers and how to cope or to a place of contempt, bitterness and un-forgiveness.
These days, I run straight to my Source for answers. Yes, I am still at the stage where I withdraw like a wounded puppy to the most secure section of the shed.
That is instinct.
But also, I begin a process of constant forgiveness and checking in with God. I assess the levels of hurt that I am feeling and I sometimes, get into the ‘Why God?’ mode. How long I stay in this shed depends on how hurt I am.
Then, my Father begins to talk to me and provide answers. Oftentimes, He would have shown me indications of what was coming or the flaws in people’s character from before. However, as with anyone, we ignore it and set up ourselves to be disappointed by having expectations of that person.
This ought not to be.
God’s servants are human beings first.
They are made of flesh and flesh is naturally sinful. Therefore, if a person has not given over completely to the Holy Spirit, then at times, if not frequently, they will ‘act up’.
The same is true for all of us as individuals, for the bible says:
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” – Romans 3:23-26 (KJV)
The first step towards moving on, is forgiveness. This can be extremely difficult to do. However, as you come into a closer relationship with God, it gets easier.
Forgiveness begins with acknowledging your own shortcomings. The main one possibly being not able to forgive immediately.
Secondly, you forgive and give the person over to Jesus Christ. Let Him be their judge. For many of us, we might have to repeat this process a few dozen…hundred or thousand times for it to take. No matter how many times is needed, do it until you are free.
Then, you pray for God to give you a spirit of Love. Love conquers all. God is Love.
If you submit your will to the Holy Spirit, then He will guide you through this process. He will give you the depth of Love to operate in.
All that’s needed now is for you to act in love. Do this for as many times as is needed, until it becomes a natural response.
In time, if you follow these steps, forgiveness will be an immediate response. If you find yourself regressing, do not despair. Just repeat the process of forgiveness and love for as many times as Christ gives you the grace to execute.
For those who ask, “So what happens if the person continues to behave in a way that is hurtful?”
Then, If it is the will of God, he will either move you or the person. You can also ask Him to, if it is His will.
I say this because, like Christ, we sometimes have to grin and bear it, until things change.
For many of us, persecution and trials lead us into a deeper relationship with God, through prayer.
The bible says:
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7(KJV)
Oftentimes, hurt causes anger and in anger we tend to complain and vent. At times, when we complain to others, it might ‘color’ their relationship with the other person. Or cause them to start talking about the individual, in question, negatively to other people.
Excerpt From What does the Bible say about complaining?
Clearly, as believers we are challenged not to grumble or complain (Philippians 2:14-15; 1 Peter 4:9); rather, we are to love one another deeply so that we may become “blameless and pure” in God’s eyes. If we grumble and complain, it shows how worldly we still are (James 4:1-3). A complaining spirit leads to fighting and quarrelling because complaints come from unfulfilled desires, which lead to envy and strife. Was that not at the root of the problem with the sons of Israel, when they chose to dispose of their brother Joseph, because of his dream (Genesis 37:3)?
Jesus is always there to hear our problems and guide us. He wont spread negative aspirations on anyone. God knows how to keep your sessions with Him private. He even gives room for us to complain to him. This is one way to get the hurt out.
In this life, relationships with anyone is not easy. There will be disappointment, hurt, anger and even resentment. I pray that you and I will follow these steps and allow God to continue to perfect you, towards heaven.
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Copyright © 2016, Denise N. Fyffe, The Island Journal