Life is full of disappointing people. A swirl of emotions can overcome us when we hear the unspoken words written all over our spouse’s face, our boss’s tone, or the long pause on the phone with a friend. Our feelings of rejection, anger, annoyance, or despair in response to letting people down can completely take over our life. Letting someone down is something we all just want to avoid.
Not If, But When You Let Someone Down
When it’s in our power to fulfill a commitment we’ve made, the solution to not letting someone down is easy: just do the right thing. But what happens when you’ve tried to do the right thing, and the person is still expressing their disappointment in you?
Your spouse thought you were going to help around the house more, even after you spent your entire Saturday morning doing chores. Your kids thought you would be able to spend more money at Christmas, even though you already went over budget just to make it a special Christmas morning. Your coworkers thought you would be more willing to help them with their responsibilities, even after you worked extra hard to get your own responsibilities done to be able to help them. Sadly, life is all too full of situations where letting someone down happens despite our best efforts.
We Will All Let Each Other Down Because We All Need God More than Each Other
When we look at this problem from a biblical perspective, no matter how hard we try, we will always let people down because we don’t have what people are truly looking for. The reason we are all so upset with each other in this world is because of unmet expectations. When people are looking to you as the ultimate answer, they will always feel let down. People who test you to see if you are the one who can satisfy them are always going to give you a failing grade because no one but Jesus Christ is the true answer to the deep needs of discontentment in every human heart.
Rather than try to be God to everyone who is asking us to be the perfect person only Jesus is, the right response is remaining secure in Christ, seeking to please him above people. The reason we are so deeply affected when we know we are letting someone down is because in our sinfulness we want to be God.
We all like when we are the center, when people think we have it all together. Is it any wonder social media is full of “selfies“? Have you ever wondered why so many people need to show everyone else their “perfect life,” plastering their smiles all over the internet for the world to see? Why do people do that? We often do that because sin not only worships other people, it causes us to want to be worshiped. So when our worshipers are angry at us, it makes us angry because we are not being idolized like our sinful nature craves.
You’ll Have to Look Up When You Let Others Down
The solution to the internal, negative emotions that come along with letting people down is not going to be found in seeking to never let people down. We must be so secure in our identity in Christ, knowing we are loved by him, so that even when others are disappointed it does not have to lead to our depression.
When God is the one we are truly concerned with pleasing, only then will we be secure even when people are expressing how we are letting them down. It’s not a matter of if you will let people down, just a matter of what you will do when it happens.
Our only hope is to look up to our heavenly Father while letting the world down.