Talking Point – May 2024


ALL OF US will have experienced disappointment at some point in our lives, and we may be in the midst of it now. It can affect us as an individual, in our family, at work. Wanda E Brunstetter said, “Disappointments are like weeds in the garden. You can let them grow and take over your life, or you can root them out and let the flowers sprout.”
Disappointment is often closely linked to comparisons with others: “they have that, but you only have that”. This can apply to possessions, holidays, relationships, children, and even to churches.
You can quickly feel inferior or not as good as others. Don’t pull back because of comparisons , which often result from a disappointment in the past. Social media has exacerbated comparisons, including stories and pictures that can be boastful. Jesus says if your eye offends you pluck it out – you don’t have to be on social media! Remove or avoid whatever is causing you to sin or distracting you from looking at Jesus.
The famous American evangelist Billy Graham said, “Repeated disappointment almost always triggers a series of other reactions: discouragement, anger, frustration, bitterness, resentment, even depression. Unless we learn to deal with disappointment, it will rob us of joy and poison our souls. Don’t be bound by the past and its failures. But don’t forget its lessons either. The time to prepare for life’s disappointments and hurts is in advance. Learn from your disappointments and failures and, with God’s help, seek to overcome them. Ask yourself, could I have done anything to prevent this? Were my hopes and dreams unrealistic, or were my motives wrong? Is there a new path God wants me to explore?”
The New Testament says be content with what you have, with food and clothing, friendship and love, the principle of enough – we may not have all the specifics, but we do always have what we need. Keep your lives free from the love of money, Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.”
You may be experiencing disappointment now. Perhaps the best way to deal with it is to set your mind on things above – not on Earth where everything will eventually fade. The antidote to disappointment is to look up and not down.
Look as well to the needs of others and pray, “Please God transform me into your likeness and help me to overcome this potential minefield”. God is the business of restoration throughout our lives and, as we continue walking with him, I believe we will increasingly see disappointment in a different light.
David Steed, Elder at Grace Church Caversham

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