Last week, I covered how we can carry disappointments around with us, and the first five steps to overcoming disappointment. By nature, we have a lot of expectations as human beings. But unfortunately, these often go unmet and can leave us with emotional scars if we don’t deal with them.

The disappointment you’re carrying may be from a divorce, being passed over for a promotion, bankruptcy, a disease or injury that affected your career goals, etc… Whatever the disappointment, it’s important for your future health and happiness and calling to free yourself from that pain. Try out these four tips and last week’s five tips to overcome life’s disappointments.

  • Allow yourself to grieve. Whenever disappointment does occur, give yourself the time to process it emotionally and spiritually.
    • Don’t be eager to make new plans, change jobs or cut off relationships.
    • Don’t lay the blame entirely on the other person.
    • Don’t lash out and try and inflict pain as revenge.
    • Don’t say “I don’t care” when you really do.
    • Don’t assume that you know the whole truth behind what happened.
    • Don’t allow disappointment to develop into bitterness.
    • Do ask questions and try to understand the situation better.
    • Do examine your actions and see if you contributed in any way.
    • Do talk it over with a friend or a counselor.
    • Do offer forgiveness, even if it is not warranted.
  • Abandon foolish expectations. Many years ago I had to deal with a lady who was expecting God to give her a married minister as her new husband. When I questioned her about it, it was clear that she had dreamed up this foolish expectation. When I explained to her that this minister was very happy in his marriage and that his wife was quite unhappy about her pursuit, she would not listen to anything I had to say. She became deeply disappointed when the minister and his wife met with her and explained that what she was expecting was not going to happen. Whenever we have unrealistic expectations we will always be disappointed. But this can easily be managed by managing our expectations.
  • Be willing to risk again. Please carefully read the following quote by Helen Keller. “Security is mostly a superstition. It dos not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” One man said, “Life is risky. You are not going to get out alive.” In other words, risk is an everyday part of life. Disappointment happens, but we should not be afraid to dream again and hope again.
  • Protect your heart against disappointment. It is possible to prevent your heart from ever developing a disappointed spirit.

    Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.’ But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, ‘Send her away, for she cries out after us.’ But He answered and said, ‘I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Lord help me!’ But He answered and said, ‘It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.’ And she said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.’ Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.—Matt 15:21-28

    This dear lady is an example for us all. When she came to Jesus and asked Him to help her daughter the Bible says that Jesus did not even acknowledge her. Then, when she asked for help again, he told her that she was not good enough. Most of us would  have been done pursuing Him at the time He did not acknowledge us. However, she cried after the second rejection, “Lord help me…” Then Jesus called her a “dog” and she responded and said, “Yes Lord and the dogs eat the crumbs from the master’s table.” WOW! This little lady never had to overcome a spirit of disappointment because she never got disappointed to begin with.

Thanks for joining me in this small series. I hope that you are able to use these tips to overcome the disappointments that may have happened in your life. As leaders, whether that’s in our family, a workplace, church or other, it’s important for us to learn how to be wise, resilient and courageous—full of hope for our future. Good luck out there.

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