I can’t remember who it was that said this to me or if it was in a sermon that Pastor Steven did, but it has stuck with me. There’s more to it than the title of this post. It has echoed through my head many times since I heard it in various situations. Check it out…
People are always going to let you down, so why are we always surprised when they do? The only person who will never let you down is God.
I’m sure I’ve somehow managed to paraphrase what was actually said, but that is the main gist of what was shared. When I heard that statement it was like a smack up side the head – it’s so true. Why are we surprised when people let us down? We are all human and we are all going to stumble here and there. Yet somehow, especially in the Christian circle, we tend to think everyone is somehow without fault and a high moral compass. Either that or deep down where we don’t want to admit it, we think we’re better than everyone else and how on EARTH could someone do such and such a thing? WE certainly never would.
Somewhere along the line we put everyone on a pedestal. There was one instance in the past year that this shook me to my core. A friend of mine who I had invested so much in through various avenues let me in on a shocker. I wasn’t upset or angry, I was disappointed and almost felt like they betrayed me. I mean, we are both Christians, right? How could this have happened? Why would I think that? Because somehow in our Christian circle we’ve come to imagine that everyone is on the same standard line and if someone deviates from it, they are a failure. What a terrible thing. I began to wonder how much longer this person would end up being in my life considering this choice they made. Another awful thought.
Then I heard the above line. “People are always going to let you down, so why are we so surprised when they actually do?” Why was I so shocked when this person came shared with me their situation? Of course what they told me wasn’t something so out of the blue that it would take a moment to become oriented again to our conversation and the new avenue our conversations would take, but should it have shocked me as much as it did? No. Why? Because we all have our failures and our sins. Again, for some reason even though it is not at all how God views our sins, the Christian subculture has created some kind of hierarchy of sins. Apparently, some sins are “worse” than others. Who knew? Well, I guess we decided that. Wrong move on our part since we are not the ones to judge lest we be judged ourselves. Comparing and ordering sins from the least harmful to the worst is not how we should be living and comparing ourselves.
After hearing and considering that line for a good while, I realized that it’s a fact and it’s never going to change. People are always going to let us down – friends, family, church members, those in the entertainment industry that we foolishly think are without fault… We shouldn’t be surprised by it, instead we need to forgive, love and move on from it. After I understood and came to grips with the fact that people (no matter who they are) are always going to let me down, I began to realize what the next step was in moving beyond that.
It’s about helping them pick up the pieces. My friend I spoke of earlier, I immediately went to some others to try to gain and find support for them. We had some good, serious, tough and important conversations. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. They made me think too. It’s amazing how freeing it is and how much you yourself can gain from being there for a fellow Christian and close friend in helping them move forward. I would do ANYTHING for this person in my life to help them get settled again and a lot of times it’s just a matter of listening, praying for the right words and the little things that help the most. I’m in that place again now and I’m praying for God to show them where their path is leading next and that they would make the decision that would be best for them – one that would be healthy for them (not just physically, but spiritually, emotionally, professionally, etc.) and that would allow them to grow more in their faith with people around them for support.
It’s funny how this has coincided with the F-Bomb series at church on forgiveness. Part of realizing that people are always going to let you down is knowing you’ll have to forgive and it might not be just once. System 77 might have to get put in place. Once you realize that, your heart will be so much more open and ready to help them pick up the pieces if they are ready and willing. I’m SOOO glad this person in my life appears to be at this place.
Man… This stuff is so important.