We all have dealt with disappointment on some level. Be it disappointment in others, situations, or disappointment in ourselves. The former can cause significant pain, but the latter is the most grueling of all. It can lead to feelings of shame, self-hate, and a general spirit of cruelty towards our innermost experiences.
But what leads to disappointment? This feeling of being unhappy with who we are and how we go about life…
I think we could all agree we do the best we can with what we have at the time…and yet knowing this we still bury our admirable intentions in a cave and drag out the blindness induced mistakes as if they are all that exists. But why?
Maybe it has to do with how we have appointed ourselves in the first place. If we appoint ourselves to a level of perfection rather than progress we set ourselves up for failure. Expecting perfection is a very black and white way of thinking. Either we do everything right, or we have done everything wrong. No middle ground. No room for learning. And certainly no room for mercy. When we appoint ourselves to this standard of performance, there is no attainable personal satisfaction and therefore very little enjoying of day to day life.
But what if we were to DIS-appoint ourselves? What if we dropped off idealistic expectations and instead looked to Jesus?
Because we were never able to meet a standard of perfection in the first place. That was apparent from the day Eve ate the apple. Before God breathed the first breath of life into Adam, He knew He would send a Savior to rescue us from the trap of depraved humanity. Because of Jesus we have a standard of sanctification and growing in grace rather than perfection. When we adopt a growth mindset with Christ appointed to the highest place in our heart and mind, things change.
We can forgive ourselves. We can look at our mistakes honestly, without judgement, and choose to learn from them. We can take victory for what it is without feeling like we have to constantly live up to the next triumph or higher standard. We don’t have to be the best but we realize we aren’t our worst. Christ has already redeemed the place of our worst. It no longer exists.
And what does all this mean for someone who beats themselves up for past mistakes, imperfection in the present, and fears failure in the future?
It means we can stop.
The moment we DIS-appoint ourselves, step off of the throne, and put Jesus there – He does what He already came to do. He sets the captive free.
“Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, because when you live in the Anointed One, Jesus, a new law takes effect. The law of the Spirit of life breathes into you and liberates you from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2 The Voice Translation
One of my favorite authors, RT Kendall, says it this way…
We forgive in proportion to how we love; and we withhold forgiveness in proportion to how we hate.
We can choose to love ourselves, forgive ourselves, and see ourselves through the lens of mercy because Christ loved us first. He sits atop the throne of our lives, not our own accomplishments or standards. It’s Him up there. And just Him. And us down here. And just us. We can drop the heavy chains of perfectionistic bondage and rest in knowing the standard is grace. Nothing we can do can make Him love us more and nothing can make Him love us less, we are loved with the fullness of who God is from the moment we accept Him into our hearts and minds. So let’s DIS-appoint ourselves sweet friends, and in doing so, find rest.