When you think about what God looks like, what comes to mind? Is He sitting on a throne with a big, white beard cascading down from a stern chin? What is the expression on His face? This last question may be more important than anything else. When God looks at you, what does His expression tell you?
I’ve heard many people talk about how they’ve disappointed God. I once heard a preacher say “the best way to keep from getting disillusioned is to not be illusioned in the first place.” Now, I don’t know how emotionally healthy that is, but it got me thinking about disappointment.
The root of disappointment is unmet expectations. I become disappointed when I have an expectation that isn’t met. For example, I expected a job promotion that didn’t happen; therefore I am disappointed. Or I expected someone to do something and they didn’t do it, or I expected that they wouldn’t do something and they did. Because of that, I become disappointed.
So can God ever become disappointed with us?
Think about it for a minute. We believe God is all-knowing. He knows everything past, present, and future. He knows every detail of your life before you are born. You cannot surprise Him. No matter how bad of a choice you make, He already knew that you would be right where you are. He knew your successes and your failures.
Can you surprise God? No. He already knows.
Then can you disappoint Him? What expectation of you does He have that you won’t already fulfill? He may have ideals and principles we are called to in Scripture, but He isn’t surprised when we don’t fulfill them — He already knew we wouldn’t. It’s not that God doesn’t want better for us than our foolish choices; the question is whether or not we can disappoint Him. There will never be a time in our lives when God has an expectation of us that we won’t fulfill to the letter. That is the power of being all-knowing.
I had a young lady in my youth ministry years ago. She was new to walking with Jesus and was doing well. Then she went on a senior trip that changed her life forever. It was the classic party scene and she indulged it to its extreme. And then she had all the shame that comes with such a choice.
She didn’t return for a few weeks after that. When I saw her again, I asked where she had been and she reluctantly began to unfold for me what had transpired. There was so much shame in her voice because in her words, she had disappointed God so badly.
It was one of those moments when I felt the Holy Spirit take over. I am not smart enough for this kind of thinking. I asked her if she believed God knew everything. She said yes. And did God know she would do some good things and some bad things even before time began? She said yes.
If that is true, then He knew everything that had happened on that senior trip — in all of its shame making nuances. At the very same moment, He said, “I love you, without condition.”
Maybe today it is good for us to know God loves us — every piece, even the broken ones — more than we could ever imagine. That cannot change when we mess up. Even when we mess up really bad, we don’t disappoint God. He is 100% loving to us.
The trick for us is to love what God loves about us, as mush as He loves it. May you find your true, eternal worth.