The Fear of Disappointing God

When I was a child I never could seem to “get it right” with everything my parents expected.  My room was not clean enough.  Grades were not good enough.  I could have chosen better friends.  I just never seemed to get it right and to this day, I sometimes can still be fearful of other’s expectations.  We buy a gadget and expect it to work as promised by the manufacturer and get angry when it fails our expectation.  Brides may expect their new husbands to act like their dads did and face disappointments when they fail.  A mother-in-law may expect her son’s new wife to cook, clean, and tend to babies and may be angry when she chooses to work outside of the home.

But, does God have an expectation of us?  Can we disappoint him when we fail him?  Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good? Will he never smile again? Is his love worn threadbare? Has his salvation promise burned out? Has God forgotten his manners? Has he angrily stalked off and left us? “Just my luck,” I said. “The High God goes out of business just the moment I need him.” (The Message Psalm 77: 7-10)


The human part of us may feel we can disappoint God, but the psalmist continues his song with the rest:

Once again I’ll go over what God has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders; I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished, and give a long, loving look at your acts. (The Message Psalm 77:11-12)


The action of God’s love must be without exception for it to be selfless love.  We can be disappointed by others’ actions, but it usually is about me.  These are my expectations of you-especially if your failures reflect upon me.  Parents may be disappointed by a child’s failings, but not God.  Couples may be disappointed by each other, but not God.  He knew I would fail him, but he still chooses to love me.  He knew I would break his laws, but he still chooses to redeem me.  He knew I would fail to offer mercy to others, and yet he still offers it to me each day. I can continually look to the wonderful things he has done for me as a reminder that he does not get disappointed in me.

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