I replayed the conversation in my head, wishing I’d responded differently.
Why did I get so defensive when others didn’t see things my way? Instead of trying to see the other person’s point of view and finding a common ground, I’d put up a wall between us. Sure, we remained polite to each other, but there was an unspoken tension that kept our conversations short.
I know I need to bring the matter to God. I need wisdom and guidance, but every time I try to pray, I can’t utter the words. How many times will God listen to me? With every step I take forward in relationships, faith and goals, it seems I always take two steps back. I’m sure God is tired of hearing about the same problems on repeat.
Like the invisible wall between me and my loved one, I build a wall between myself and God.
I convince myself he doesn’t want to hear from me. I convince myself he’s disappointed in me and is done helping with my issues, complaints and worries.
Isn’t it amazing how we project human shortcomings onto a holy, perfect God?
We face hurt and rejection in other relationships, so we persuade ourselves that God will turn his back on us too. We are disappointed in our own shortcomings, by our friends and our family members, so we think God is disappointed too.
For years I felt this way. I let unconfessed sin, guilt and insecurity hurt my relationship with God, and my other relationships suffered because of it. Instead of seeing his love was unconditional, perfect and everlasting, I viewed it through the filter of my earthly relationships. I wondered why I never felt safe and secure, like I had to measure up or pass some unwritten test.
One day in early autumn, a popular ministry leader prompted me to dig into scripture. I realized many of the ideas I had about God were untrue, and the more I read, the more I was set free. Free from a law that said I had to be perfect or never repeat the same mistake. Free from my own shame and from the weight I’d carried around for so long.
The next time you hesitate to come before God, convinced he’s disappointed in you, remember these three truths:
1. God doesn’t remember your past sin.
This isn’t because he’s forgetful or flighty. He chooses not to remember. Once you come to him with a repentant heart and confess, he wipes your slate clean. He does this because he loves you. His love isn’t like your friend’s or neighbor’s and he won’t hold a grudge for years, saying he forgives you but remaining bitter. His forgiveness is complete and final.
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12 ESV
2. God’s love isn’t dependent on our actions.
Yes, our sin has consequences and when it isn’t confessed, it can create a breach between us and God. But there is nothing we can do to earn God’s love. Once we have a relationship with him, he sees us through the perfect blood of his son. Our standing with him has nothing to do with our behavior and everything to do with what Jesus did on the cross.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NIV
3. God sees the whole story.
Thinking God is disappointed implies that we did something to surprise him. But God is omniscient, and he knows what we’re going to say or do before we even think it. He doesn’t just see the person you are now. He sees the person you are becoming, with the help of his Spirit working in you. He sees the masterpiece he created to perform works we can’t even imagine yet.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV
No matter where you are today or what burden you’re carrying, remember God sees you. When he looks at you, it isn’t with disdain or disappointment over the things you’ve done. He sees you with a perfect and holy love we can’t begin to imagine or understand. His work in you isn’t finished yet. He wants to mold you into a beautiful reflection of his son, Jesus, but you have to keep coming to him.
Talk to him today as you would a friend. Your relationship with him is the most beautiful one you will ever have.
If you need to shift your focus from disappointment and worry and see what God is already doing in your life, I encourage you to pick of a copy of my book, Shift: Changing Our Focus to See the Presence of God. I talk more about the ways a simple shift can change everything. Many people have sent me messages saying it is a timely book for this season. This encourages my heart so much. I pray that God continues to use it to touch lives.
Here’s what one reader said:
“One of the most comforting books I’ve read in a long time. Author Abby McDonald writes from a place of vulnerability and truth, and she clearly writes to serve her reader. A sweet book full of honesty and wisdom.” – Brenda
You can pick up a copy of Shift by clicking the image below.