We are disappointed when we feel let down by friends, family members and colleagues. we are also disappointed when our expectations are not met e.g. deserted by those close to us in the hour of need. When disappointment is not dealt with in the right way, it can cause bitterness and many other destructive emotions and behaviors.

Recognizing disappointment! We need to realize and admit that the world is not perfect; there will always be ups and downs. From time to time we will feel let down, betrayed, hurtful feelings, disbelief and shock, this cannot be prevented.

Understanding disappointment! It is a natural reaction and a normal response to being let down. We should not be stuck in our pain. We need to work on our pain until healing is accomplished.

Dos and don’ts! When we are disappointed we go through a cocktail of emotions and this will not be a good time to make new plans, change jobs, or terminate relationships. If we do so we will be making decisions based on our emotional state without evaluating the pros and cons. This means we do not want to deal with our discomfort and therefore we will take a short cut; which will give us temporary relief before hitting the rock bottom. This might end up becoming a vicious cycle.

We don’t have to lay blame entirely on the other person; we need to evaluate our mistakes and how we could have dealt with the situation differently. This is called taking responsibility where necessary.

Don’t revenge. People who revenge do not learn from their mistakes and they deny themselves a growth opportunity.
“See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.” 1Thessalonians 5:15, NKJV

Don’t say I don’t care when you really do. Avoid speaking out of anger. When we speak out of anger we act out our feelings instead of processing them in a healthy way. We regret whatever we said and most likely we destroy the bridge to forgiveness and reconciliation.

Don’t assume that you know the whole truth; admit that you have partial information pertaining to what happened. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to figure out what triggered their actions; extend empathy which is good for our sanity.

Don’t allow disappointment to develop into bitterness. It can cause spiritual decline and emotional poisoning, which can cause mental and spiritual turmoil.
“Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” Hebrews 12:15 NKJV

Do examine your actions and see if you contributed in anyway.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
Do offer forgiveness even though it is undeserved. Forgiveness is for your own benefit not for the benefit of the person who offended you.
“But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:15 NKJV

Long term effects! Disappointment can lead to misery if not dealt with. People who are unable to forgive are always bitter, self centered and their attitude is contagious; and they always throw a self-pity party for themselves.

When disappointment hits don’t nurture the pain adjust your expectations. Where is your hope? Is it in pleasing people or seeking their approval? The secret to effectively deal with disappointment is putting your trust in God.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

Let’s learn from our defeats. Disappointments and failure build character, patience; And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Rom 5: 3-4, NKJV)

This reminds me the story of Bethany Hamilton a 13 years old teenager who was attached by a shark in October 31, 2003, while surfing and ended up losing her arm. Bethany adjusted her expectations and turned her disappointment into an inspirational story of hope and faith as she points out the role that God played in her life, as a matter of fact she never gave up surfing.

Nurture friendships. We get hurt by people and we heal through people. If we push our friends away, we are rejecting healing and hope.

We need to become intimate with God. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” ( Hebrews 13:5, NKJV), “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? “(Rom 8:31-32, NKJV).

Focus on Christ our ultimate hope. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”. (Rom 8:28, NKJV) Do not let your problems overwhelm you talk it over with a trusted friend, a Pastor or counselor.

The writer is the CEO/Founder -Pinnacle of Praise Show an outreach wing of Pinnacle of Praise Ministries. She is the Host of Pinnacle of Praise Show(TV) and In the Wings of our Stories(Radio) and the Author of a Woman of Influence: Empowered by God. She is a Professional Counselor, a conference & Motivational Speaker and addresses topics on Emotional and Spiritual Stability.

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