Church is where we are always at peace with one another, think only wonderful thoughts, and enjoy uninterrupted fellowship. When the pastor is ready to preach, he descends from the clouds and the blessings of heaven rain down.
Isn’t it strange how we put unrealistic expectations on one another? We expect Christians to always respond graciously, demonstrate integrity, and lay down their lives for the Savior and His people. Always.
And when they don’t respond in a “Christianly” way, boy are we disappointed.
Did you ever think about how often Jesus had opportunity to be disappointed? Like when his closest friends knew he was in agony, praying with tears in the garden, and they fell asleep. Or when He was being mocked and beaten by the Romans, and then he sees his friend outright deny him.
How would you take that? I would probably get angry.
But what did Jesus do? He "rolled up his sleeves" and went back to the very people who had wounded his heart.
If the disciples that sat with, walked with, ate with, and watched Jesus could still be selfish and blind and cowardly, there’s a good chance we modern-day disciples might have our moments too. People will disappoint you. You will disappoint you!
The point isn’t to excuse sin or to be flippant when we hurt others, but what are we going to do about it when it happens? Are you going to be stuck on the, “They should have …” mentality? Or are you going to deal with it and move on? If needs be, go back to the individual and explain what’s wrong, but proceed with prayer.
By the way, sometimes our perceived wrongs are just that—perceived.
“He didn’t talk much to me today and I know it’s because he doesn’t like me.”
“She didn’t come to my event. She doesn’t even care.”
Maybe. Maybe not.
Try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Don’t you want people to think the best of your intentions?
When people disappoint, give them the freedom of knowing they’re not perfect, and let it go. Yes. I said it. “Let it go!” Don’t become frozen and lock yourself behind icy walls. If there is an issue that is coming between you and the Lord and this individual, deal with it. Prayerfully talk to your brother and sister and try to make amends.
Give people the same freedom you would want.
Give them the freedom of valuing them for who they are, not for how they respond. Give them the freedom of knowing they may, probably will, disappoint you at some time as you will disappoint others.
And then move on.