Mark Affleck

Get Over It, Mark--People Will Let Us Down!

April 7, 2024
Spiritual Growth

We all have a keen sense of our EXPECTATIONS for the people we encounter on life’s road: Those close to us like family and friends; others we work or worship with on a regular basis; employers; and strangers who come into our lives on the freeway or in a restaurant.

I was recently stunned and crushed by someone’s careless behavior that missed my expectations BY A MILE. My immediate, internal reaction was anger and extreme disappointment.

I wish my next thought was something like: I quickly gave it to God and everything turned around in an instant.

But that did not happen. I stewed over it for a couple of hours and got more “worked up” with every minute of sand that passed through my figurative hourglass. And THEN I turned to God with my unmet expectations and pain.

It would have been better if my plea for God’s help had come immediately after the incident, but I’m content that I ended up in the right spot in a relatively short span because I learned from this experience for the next one that will surely come. Heck, if this had happened 10 or 15 years earlier, I would probably still be angry today, a week beyond the event. (Not really…but you get the idea.)

This latest experience was a blessing in how it refreshed my knowledge that having our expectations unmet and being let down by others can come either BEFORE—where we fixate and obsess over how “they ought to act;” or AFTER something happens or doesn’t happen.

But the before-or-after timing does not matter. Either way—before or after–we end up in the same spot facing the need to deal with our disappointment. God wants our focus to be on this reality: NONE OF US can meet the myriad expectations people have for us. Not me. Not you. Nobody.

God wants us to take our unmet expectations to him in complete trust…and he wants us to come EARLY so he can tell us how to respond when people disappoint us.

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

Of course it hurts when PEOPLE let us down! But it’s inevitable, so our attention must pivot immediately to how we respond. And that means we must run to God and get the right perspective; the right approach; and the right heart.

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