I’ve been thinking a lot about disappointment and the potential that it has in us. It seems that every season of my life has a theme that I continue to come back to and this season of my life is no exception. Over and over again through these seasons, I feel like that theme comes at me from every possible angle, playing the same song over and over and over again. This season seems to be a lot about identity.
When things don’t go the way that we would like and hope, we can get extra disappointed because of how it looks upon us. When we don’t get the promotion. When we don’t pass the test. When something happens that makes us feel rejected. All these things, and so much more, can lead to disappointment. But that disappointment can feel even greater depending on where we are finding our identity.
Like I said, over and over again during this season in my life I have come to hear, grow, and learn more in the area of identity. I’ve seen what happens when our identity gets misplaced and we end up putting more emphasis on places where we should not be depending upon for our identity.
I’ve seen this in meetings when people steep their identity in their own ideas and suggestions. When those ideas and suggestions are questioned or rejected, whoever offered them up feels rejected and questioned. They feel threatened, as if their ideas are who they are.
I’ve seen this in regards to positions when somebody’s authority is questioned, they begin to take it personally rather than realizing that it might have less to do with them than the person who is questioning them to begin with.
When we put all of our proverbial eggs in one basket, we can easily stake a lot on the outcome of our situations and then be equally frustrated, discouraged, and disappointed by an outcome that flies in the face of our own wants and desires.
Here’s the verse that I come back to in the midst of all of this, Romans 8:1-2, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” No condemnation, did you catch that. None. Not at all. Not a glimpse or an inkling of it IF we are in Christ Jesus. That’s where our identity needs to lie, in Christ Jesus. Not in jobs. Not in positions. Not in houses. Not in money. Not in our ideas. Not in exams. Not in titles. Not in degrees. Not in approval ratings. IN CHRIST JESUS.
It’s hard not to get disappointed when things don’t happen the way that we want them to, but what do we do with that disappointment? Do we leave it there and move on or do we wallow in it? If we are in Christ, we can move past it and realize that those things don’t define us. Sure, it’s helpful to have some of those things and to succeed in some of those areas, but as I told a friend, when I stand before God, I don’t get the feeling that he’s going to ask me how many degrees I had or tell me that he’s disappointed that I didn’t have better ideas, a better job, or a bigger house. I do think that he will tell me that he gave me Jesus and ask me what I did with him. The answers to everything else will pale in comparison I’m working on my answer, and I know I have a long way to go. How about you?