Sunday, March 02, 2008

When the Body of Christ Lets You Down

That's kind of how I've been feeling recently. However, since I try not to whine too much on this blog, I won't go into the specific details.

I remind myself that disappointment in life comes from expectations that don't get fulfilled. So if my siblings in Christ fail to show interest in my well being when I have clearly expressed a need, I'm disappointed. Perhaps my mistake was expecting it in the first place.

Scripture (Galatians 6) tells us to bear one another's burdens, but in the same passage it also says to bear your own burden. Does that mean that I should help others when they hurt, but not necessarily expect they will help me when I hurt? Maybe it does.
2 Help carry one another's burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are something when you really are nothing, you are only deceiving yourself. 4 You should each judge your own conduct. If it is good, then you can be proud of what you yourself have done, without having to compare it with what someone else has done. 5 For each of you have to carry your own load.


tank said...

How can it be wrong to expect the best out of people? But, I guess when you try to depend on the goodness of people, you just end up discovering once again that none is good but God.

John and Jessie Trinh said...

Interestingly enough, I posted a comment about this very thing on my blog:
View the "blog" page. Let me know what you think.

Thainamu said...

Thank you for your comments. Tank, I agree with you that it sure seems like "expecting the best" of people is what we should generally do. I tried to do that with my children as they were growing up, and I think it worked well (except for a few instances where they felt pressured to be "perfect," which I never intended, but may, indeed, have subtly implied).

Usually I feel it is wrong to lower my expectations of fellow Christians, too. I mean, I have high standards for myself and I think those same standards apply to all believers. But then, I have to admit that many, many times I don't keep my own expectations--so how can I ask my fellow believers to do good if I don't?

Jessie, in your case, you've got the usual "body of Christ" scenario, but likely overlaid with cultural issues too, that make things more complicated.

It seems like we can't hold people responsible for helping us unless we somehow clearly express our need. That in itself can be problematic--how to state a need without whining, without putting a guilt trip on people, without asking for more than people can give, etc. But just suffering in silence doesn't seem right, either!

I don't really have a solution. I know God asks us to help our fellow believers. I guess it does come down to me being responsible for my own actions and being willing to let it go when others disappoint. I need to show mercy even when I feel sorry for myself, abandoned, or ignored in hopes that I too will be shown mercy when I need it.

DM said...

I read your post and thought to myself.."that sounds like me!!!!"
Our Christian "siblings" WILL let us down for a 100 different reasons...I'm sorry that in spite of the fact you expressed your need no one picked up on it...I've been down that trail so many times over the years (unmet expectations)..that it gives me a headache if I think about sound like an encourager by nature...what people sometimes don't realize is that the encouragers also need regular doses of encouragement...I hear you.