How to Handle Disappointments

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Romans 14:1-4

One thing we all share in common as humans is the experience of being disappointed. We face many kinds of disappointments throughout our lives, but there are practical Biblical principles for disappointing situations that will help you keep the right attitude.

  1. Make sure you are not judging the people who have disappointed you. This judging of others is generally found in two forms:

    Unjust judging is when you arrive at a conclusion without all the information. Be very careful of judging others based purely on your observances, as they do not always tell the whole story. Who are you to judge whether people measure up to some standard you hold? Remember that others are answerable to God, not to you.

    Hypocritical judging happens when you condemn someone else while you are doing the same thing. This is the idea behind the famous scripture in Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Judging others in this way tends to come along with an attitude of superiority, despite the accuser having sin in their life as well. Pointing out the sin in others’ behavior leads to gossip and slander, and makes the accuser feel justified in their own sin. If you have been sinned against, there is a Biblical process to follow to resolve it; Show the other person their fault, just the two of you without an audience.

  2. Don’t put your ultimate trust in any person or thing. People will fail you eventually because every person has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. If a person disappoints you, ask yourself these questions:

    Are they just violating your preferences?
    What is the context of their culture, upbringing, or societal values?
    Do you have them on a pedestal?

    Likewise, don’t put your ultimate trust in “stuff,” it will fail to satisfy you. Trusting in possessions and money can be very unstable.

  3. Practice mercy, grace and forgiveness. Living in your bitterness hurts mostly yourself! Let go of your negativity.

    Mercy; giving someone another chance when you have the technical right to condemn and punish them.
    Grace; a gift given for the sole benefit of the receiver who does not deserve it, cannot earn it, and can never repay it.
    Forgiveness; totally erasing an emotional debt that someone “owes” you.

    How can you receive these things from God and not pass them on to others? Jesus set an example of mercy, grace and forgiveness that we are commanded to follow, just as Christ forgive us.

This service was streamed live to Facebook on September 8, 2019.
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