One of the most painful experiences in life is the to be disappointed by some person in whom we have truly believed. Sooner or later that happens to everyone. For most it begins in childhood, with the discovery that our parents are not perfect. They are only people with the same weaknesses and problems that afflict us all. Then later we learn that teachers do not always know all the answers.
To experience this kind of disappointment in people is part of the process of growing up. But it does not end with childhood. It carries over into adult life and there it can be even more painful. A wife thinks she knows her husband, until one day she learns the awful truth that others have known for some time. A business man learns that a trusted partner has been stealing from the company. A person learns that a friend in whom he or she confided has betrayed his or her confidence.
This kind of thing is one of the most painful experiences in life. It leaves a person wondering if he or she can ever believe in anyone again.
But a word of caution is in order. When a disappointment like this comes, it should first of all be carefully investigated to see if it is true. And the place to begin is with your mate, with your partner, with your friend. Perhaps your are mistaken. It could be a misunderstanding.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the angels were said to have sung about peace on earth. But that was a long time ago. People who visit His birthplace live in fear of terrorists’ bombs.
That kind of thing is going on in a world where Jesus has preached for nearly two thousand years. Are we fooling ourselves? Is Christ really the answer? Is He the one, or should we start looking for someone or something else?
The world did not and does not need another army or another strong man. Jesus came and he was doing the work that He had come into the world to do – – loving and helping people, trying to get them to understand that God cares about them.
What we are seeing in our world today is not the failure of Jesus and His way of love. What we are seeing is the failure of force. We have seen it fail over and over again. But for some strange reason, we keep on believing in it, and we keep on trying it. We cannot change peoples’ minds with clubs nor win their hearts with coercion. The only thing that will accomplish those objectives is the persuasive power of loving and helping. It is slow; but what else is there? If you know a better way, share it with us. In the meantime, we had better stick with Jesus, doubts and all.
The problem seems not be that He has disappointed us, but that we have disappointed Him. But patiently, He assures us, and He keeps on believing in us. Perhaps someday we will find the wisdom to truly believe in Jesus. Then we shall see the glory and power of God.