Disappointment is a regularly accepted experience. Don’t we easily say, “I was disappointed that she didn’t call”? Or “I was disappointed when the delivery man didn’t show up”? It could be a zillion things that happen each day. And we feel totally comfortable and justified in feeling this way. After all, we expected a certain behavior or a certain response. What’s wrong with feeling disappointed?
Disappointment is defined as, “the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest” (Wikipedia).
So it would seem that we’ve set our heart on something. We’ve committed our heart to someone or something expecting them/it to work or come through for us or fulfill something. We’re depending upon something to meet a need or make us feel a certain way. And so when it doesn’t happen, it seems acceptable, even expected, that we feel disappointment. And very often that disappointment becomes bitterness, resentment, and anger.
It’s almost like we’ve given away our heart. We’ve said, in effect, to that person or thing, “Here! Here’s my heart. You must come through for me, otherwise I will feel: (pick one/many) worthless, ignored, embarrassed, abandoned. And that means I can get angry or withdraw in order to protect my heart.”
It would seem that we’ve made them a kind of god with power over us. We’re no longer in control of our reaction; we’ve handed control over to that other entity. I’m not choosing God’s perspective of me; I’m at the control of another. They are telling me who I am.
But wonder if we had a heart change?
Look at Jesus’s perspective:
“But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man, for He knew what was in man” (John 2:24-25 KJ21).
Barnes Notes On The Bible makes this comment: “The word translated ‘commit’ here is the same which in John 2:23 is translated ‘believed.’ It means to put ‘trust’ or ‘confidence in.’ Jesus did not put ‘trust’ or ‘reliance’ in them. He did not leave himself in their hands.”
Although these verses are primarily talking about Jesus’s physical being, it’s obvious from reading the Gospel accounts that Jesus didn’t depend upon anyone to define Him or to label Him. They tried to define and label Him but He didn’t receive it. He knew who He was and nothing would sway that.
Also, Jesus was never disappointed by men! He had realistic expectations of men. “He knew all men.” He knew men would fail Him; only His Father would never fail Him. He kept his expectations solely based on the Father; never people.
You and I somehow think people are never going to fail us. We think they are capable of being all we need and want. And then we’re shocked they didn’t live up to our expectations. No wonder we’re disappointed.
Now granted, the word “disappointed” can mean something objective. I can say “I was disappointed” and it can mean, “my expectations weren’t met but it doesn’t bother me. I’m just saying something didn’t come through.” I suppose that’s possible but only when we somehow resist to “commit” our heart to our expectation. And that’s awfully hard to do.
Think of the last time you felt disappointed. Examine what happened in light of Jesus’s example of not putting His heart into the hands of others. Would you have been disappointed if you had held your expectation lightly, knowing “what was in men”?
What do you think? Is it possible or advisable to not expect and not become disappointed? Should that be a goal? How do you think you can expect something yet not be bothered when it doesn’t happen? Let me know what you think.