Have people ever let you down? Have you ever let yourself down? No matter what it is, if it is if the world, we will always be let down – eventually. Why? Because new things lose their luster, new thrills lose their flutter, and eventually, new places become common.
This reality can be quite discouraging at first, and I was reaching a place in my Christian walk where I thought I was becoming a cynic, but prayer and study helped me realize my optimism in things, people, and places was actually wounded. I was getting let down by the reality that people can be cruel, selfish, and back-stabbing, even Christians.
Yet, this was never a surprise to Jesus. For we are told He did not entrust himself to people, for he knew all people, and He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person. John 2:34-25.
And yet, He still loved us so much that He was willing to die for us – and He still loves us, even though He knows all our flaws.
In time I began to realize my disillusionment was a good thing. For hoping in man, or anything else in this world is misplaced expectation. My hope can only be and should only be in Christ. For when He is my hope, there is hope for myself and others.
This realization helped protect my heart from growing cynical – my optimism was also renewed. Though wounded, I know why. Whenever we look to other things – perfection will always allude us. Yet, when we look to Christ, we are able to look past imperfections, even expect them, yet still love and forgive as Christ did and does.
Are we expecting perfection from someone – are we surprised when we are let down by them? Why? Does it change our love for them? Why? We should always want and hope for the best for others and ourselves, and always strive for improvement, but only through Christ does this hope have any merit. For only He can be trusted for perfection, and to work through us to teach us to love despite our imperfections.
Oswald Chambers summarizes this point well when he said, “Disillusionment means having no more misconceptions, false impressions, and false judgments in life; it means being free from these deceptions. The disillusionment that comes from God brings us to the point where we see people as they really are, yet without any cynicism or any stinging and bitter criticism.
Let’s be wise enough to do the same and courageous enough to love anyway, to hope any way, to be optimistic anyway, but alway through the lens of our Christian reality, not the world’s.