You Disappoint Me

They were at loggerheads. It started off with a frustrated comment about a church member’s absence from the annual church meeting. When the guilt-trip did not have the desired impact, the conversation spiraled into accusations of being hard, selfish, and cruel. From being frustrated at the lack of attendance at a church meeting, the person now heard “you disappoint me.”

Importance of Asking Questions

We become frustrated with each other for a number of reasons. In our frustration, it is easy to go from irritation to anger and then to hold a grudge against the other person involved. To prevent this, it is important to stop and ask ourselves questions. The first question is to ask “what am I disappointed about?” After finding the answer to this question, we need to go on to ask other questions. Examples are “Is this a personal expectation?,” and “Is this about my own standards where there is freedom to be different?”

It is crucial, to be honest with ourselves here and recognize the problem as personal expectations when this is the case. When we do this, we can deal with our hearts which are experiencing disappointment. Otherwise, we can become angry and resentful toward the person and may lash out and accuse. In such situations, the other person is not actually doing anything that is necessarily wrong.

Further Questions

From here we should ask further questions, such as “What does scripture say?,” “Is this a sin?,” “Is it a tradition but not a sin?” (such as the need to attend meetings), and “Am I missing something here?” It may be the case that there are things going on in the life of the other person that we know nothing about. Perhaps, they have family difficulties or are suffering ill-health. It may be appropriate to offer practical help to this person. To get to this level of understanding requires that we look beyond our own expectations and think about what is going on in the other person’s life and how we can help them.

A Better Question

By now we can be asking “How can I encourage this person to know Christ more, even if they never do the thing that I desire?”

We get frustrated with each other when expectations are not met. Rather than becoming angry, resentful, and lashing out, it is important to examine our hearts by asking ourselves some questions about what we are desiring, the situation as a whole, and what the Lord says in scripture about it. In this way, we can help the other person grow in the grace of the Lord.

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