BETTER THAN HAPPY – Episode 238
“Yeah, I know God loves me, but He sure is disappointed in me. Because I keep messing up.”
Because we are human, living the human experience, feeling human emotions and surrounded by other humans also experiencing this human experience, we tend to project these mortal experiences on God. Like, because I am a mom and there are times I am disappointed in my children when they make poor choices, then God the Father must also get disappointed in me. Probably a lot. Right? Isn’t that what we think? “And the adversary just leverages that thought to the point that creates so much shame.”
“We develop these thoughts, (like I’m am a disappointment to God). Those thoughts impact how we act, and then impact our identity as Latter Day Saints, and we’ve got to get past it. In my opinion.”
C – I make mistakes
T – I must be a disappointment to the Lord. He’s disappointed that I have to use the atonement of Jesus Christ.
F – Shame
A – More sin
R – “I give up. Why do I keep trying when I keep messing up, I keep going back to the pornography, I keep yelling at my kids, I keep doing these things? What is the point? I’m just not fit for this Latter Day Saint model or for the gospel and why even try?”
Is it possible for God to be disappointed in us? I found this fascinating:
“What is the definition of disappointment? If you do a simple Google search, it says that disappointment means ‘sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfillment of one’s hopes and expectations.’ There’s a surprise component to disappointment. You had an expectation (for something) to happen, and then it didn’t. Therefore, you’re disappointed. So, in order to be disappointed, you have to be surprised. So, can God be surprised? What would you say?
…I truly believe God has never, ever been disappointed in you, in me, in anybody. That’s such a liberating thought that we can work with.”
When I was a teenager, I struggled with this idea: Is God disappointed in me? Is God angry with me? Reading in my scriptures one day, I came across a scripture that was absolutely new doctrine to my understanding, at that time. I couldn’t remember ever being taught this principle. And the principle is this:
“Thou art angry, O Lord, with this people, because they will not understand thy mercies which thou has bestowed upon them because of thy Son.”https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/bofm/alma/33?lang=eng
What? Come again? The Lord is angry with the people, yes, but NOT because of their sins or their transgressions or their mistakes – all the things I was so afraid I was doing that disappointed the Lord. No. He is angry only because “they WILL not understand (His) mercies…bestowed upon them because of (His) Son.” He is angry when we dismiss the gift of His Son, when we don’t use the Atonement, when we don’t repent and return to the peace and the joy that He has already gifted us, through the suffering of His Son.
That made so much sense to my teenage heart, and brought new light upon mercy and upon repentance and upon the Lord’s expectations of me. He expects me to make mistakes – sometimes big mistakes. But He desires, with all of His heart – it is in fact His entire work and His entire glory – for us to use the gift of the Atonement, “that they might have joy”.
Here is another scripture example, that Kurt Francom, Jody’s guest today, shared:
“I love the instance in Doctrine and Covenants, section three. This after Joseph Smith has lost the 116 pages… Talk about a moment that disappointment should be in abundance for God.
And it’s true, if you read that section with a mean dad voice… it sounds like there’s a lot of disappointment. However, if you read it with a kind, grandmother voice, there’s just correction, there’s just encouragement, and there’s no disappointment.
In fact, in the first three verses it says, ‘The works and the designs and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated. Neither can they come to naught… Remember, remember, that is not the work of God that is frustrated, but only the work of men.’ When I internalize that scripture, to me it just says, ‘Listen, you’re not frustrating me. You made some mistakes. Let’s talk about those mistakes. Let me give you some direction, some encouragement, and get you back on track, but you haven’t frustrated my work.’
So, there’s nothing that we can do that’s going to frustrate God’s work, and therefore, in my opinion, He can’t be disappointed in us, and that’s a liberating thought.”
When I believe that, when I can accept that God loves me 100% and then I see myself as 100% lovable, it puts me in a place where I am motivated by His love and His acceptance of me, and I never want to sin again. My motivation becomes His love for me and that I am worthy of His love, and I am whole and complete. That motivation makes me want to live better. More holiness give me. Right? More sorrow for sin. More faith in my Savior. More purpose in prayer. Right? That is our hope. That is our prayer. Because He already loves me.
Is God disappointed in our falls? No.
“You’re not disappointed when your child falls down. You know that’s a part of the process of learning to walk and that when we fall down, or we are unworthy to go to the temple, or what have you, God is cheering us on. ‘It’s okay. Let’s get back up. Yeah, it’s going to happen again.’
We were talking about eternity here and the journey that each of us is on in order to refine us and to become who we’re able to become – we think it should look like a certain path, and yet it doesn’t for anyone.
I don’t know what my kid’s life is supposed to be like. but I know what kind of mother I want to be, I know what things I want to teach them. And I’ll do it all terribly, but I’ll just keep trying to get better, and then that’s it. The rest is up to God. I just don’t believe that we are capable of interfering with what their journey is supposed to be.”
And what about when they do sin – when we sin or when our loved ones sin or make decisions that lead them away from God? Elder Holland answers this. Read this a couple times. Find peace in this promise.
“‘The scoreboard is set. The scoreboard is set. Christ won. They are saved. Salvation is there for the taking.’ And they may not take it today, tomorrow, but this is part of their journey. This is part of the sanctification of the Atonement. They’ve got to go through this journey so that they can appreciate grace when they’re finally ready to take it. Christ’s job is to save – ours is to love.”