When You’ve Disappointed Someone – Again
- Tuesday, March 27, 2012
It’s one thing to be disappointed in someone.
It’s entirely another thing when someone is disappointed in you.
I experienced that recently when I sat across the table from my friend at lunch as she tearfully recounted the many ways I had disappointed her. I hadn’t called in quite awhile, I failed to notice when she was going through a difficult time, and we didn’t get together as often as we used to.
I had hurt her. And in hearing about it, it hurt me.
I hate disappointing people. And yet, it seems to happen more and more, as my responsibilities increase and my opportunities for social time diminish.
I was frustrated at the fact that, if I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t have known what to do differently in order to not hurt this friend.
“I give up,” I told God aloud as I drove home from lunch that day. “I don’t want one more conversation with a friend who is going to tell me how I’ve disappointed her. I don’t know what to do anymore to keep people happy.”
It was one of those days when one complaint felt like a million – when one woman’s unhappiness with me represented the whole world’s disappointment with me.
If she could just see my heart, I thought to myself. Then she would know I had never intended to make her feel that way.
It encouraged me to know that there is One who really can see my heart …and yours. And our motives are never misunderstood by Him.
In the Bible, we are given a song of comfort that reminds us of the One who knows us unlike any other.
“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.”
Somehow it was comforting to know that God could see my heart. He knows my intentions. And He knows every time I mean well but don’t express it, every time I mess up but didn’t intend to, every time I’m misunderstood and miserable. He knows. And He extends grace anyway.
In addition to knowing my heart, God is also able to show me, through my situation, how I can be more loving and sensitive to the needs of others, and at the same time not be someone who weighs down others with a list of unmet expectations.
I wrote out a card to my hurting friend and mailed it that day. I reiterated the hurt in my heart that I had caused her pain. I reminded her that I truly loved her. I prayed for a heart to be more concerned with others and what they’re going through than my own to-do list. And I made a conscious decision that day to extend a bit further, and call more frequently when it came to that particular friend.
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