We don’t need to attain perfection in order to have acceptance from God. We may feel we are disappointing, but this is not how He feels about us.

I was at the gym a few days ago when I got a text from my mom that quoted a devotional we both read. “If God had a face, what kind of face would He be making at you right now?” I responded, “What are you waiting for? Why are you wasting time? Come to Me. I’m here.” I know there is much to be had in the presence of God, but I feel like my feet are cemented in the ground. I have been praying for the strength to shake it off and move in His power.

My mom responded “I used to always see a disappointed face. Now…He’s usually smiling.” When I read that I started crying! It took me by surprise, but I didn’t even care that I was in public. How long have I been operating from a low-level belief that God is often disappointed with me? Since that day I have been seeking to erase that lie and, as my 16-year-old daughter likes to joke, kill it with fire!

Disappointing: Striving for Perfection

Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in steadfast love.

Micah 7:18, ESV

Don’t we all agree God loves His children where we are? Yet we don’t fully believe it. It sounds good. Our spirit wants to trust that He is pleased with us. But our flesh is hard pressed to maintain the appearance of perfection. Pride is a liar. Striving to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect is a worthy goal. But He never once said in scripture that we were to strive alone. Jesus sent us a Helper.

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you.

John 16:7, ESV

Yesterday morning, I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “No one is as disappointed in me as I am.” We are our biggest critics, our own worst enemy. We’re relentless! I referred back to the conversation with Mom and soaked up her final thought from that day at the gym. “As we draw closer to Jesus, the Spirit searches deeper, turns the spotlight on brighter, so to speak. So what you’re feeling is a sign of growth.” Essentially, now that I feel like a fool I’m free to get over myself! It’s time to shake off that cement I was griping about and move toward truth.

Let those who delight in My righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, ‘Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of His servant!’

Psalm 35:27, ESV

We don't need to attain perfection in order to have acceptance from God. We may feel disappointment in ourselves, but He feels love and fondness for each of us.

Disappointing: Acceptance

Several years ago, while at Sojourn Church in Louisville, Daniel Montgomery shared two situations with the congregation before posing a question. First, he told us about a day where he basically got up on the wrong side of the bed. He was a grump-o-potomus the entire day, yelled at his kids, snapped at his wife and acted like a bear with his co-workers. The following day his quiet time was anointed and birds were singing. He loved on his family, was courteous to strangers at the coffee shop, and encouraged and laughed with his coworkers. That evening ended with a time of family devotion.

He asked which of those days we thought God was more pleased with him. The obvious answer is the day where he did everything right. But he said, “Neither!” God doesn’t base His affections toward us on our performance. He loves us and delights in us because we are His workmanship. Clearly, we are accountable for our actions, but we are His kids no matter how emotional or irrational we happen to be feeling on any given day.

We don't need to attain perfection in order to have acceptance from God. We may feel disappointment in ourselves, but He feels love and fondness for each of us.

Your turn…

Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. We belong to the King of kings. Struggles are inevitable. Temptations win out. But when God looks at us He sees Jesus, not our shortcomings. How differently would your day look if you truly believed that? The God of creation is fond of us.

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We don't need to attain perfection in order to have acceptance from God. We may feel disappointment in ourselves, but He feels love and fondness for each of us.

Erin Perrilleon

Fight the lies with truth!

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About the author
Emily Jones
I am a recovering princess and co-founder of Jonestown which is made up of my steadfast husband, Sean, and our 3 children who have all reached double digits. Embracing the value of change is a constant theme in my life. As a teen I swore I would never marry a man who was in the ministry or military. God has a beautiful sense of humor as I have been married to an Army man for 19 years, and I myself am pursuing a master's degree in biblical counseling.

Comments (23)

  1. I read your post this morning as a part of my morning devotional. Perfectionism is something I’ve always struggled with, and when I deal with my anger, frustration, impatience, a quick tongue, etc., I beat myself and think about how much I’ve disappointed God. And I’ve asked myself many times, how does he see me? I no more read this post and started thinking about it, then my son woke up. Early. Thirty minutes early. And then the dog needed to go outside. And then my son made a series of poor choices and the tantrum gate lifted and in we went. After the disciplining was done, I sat with my son and told him how much I love him and how thankful I am for him. And it hit me. This boy, who just 5 minutes ago needed some solid discipline, was now in my arms listening to how much I love him and how much I want him to make good choices. This is my relationship with God, the Father.

    I was disappointed my son woke up early, and what happened was something so much more powerful than the reading and journaling that would have happened had he slept. Between your post and my son’s tantrum, I experienced a true lightbulb moment.

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. I’m smiling! How sweet of our Father to show you such a tangible picture of His love for you; and for the eyes to see it. Thanks for sharing the gift!

  2. This was so encouraging to read, Emily! I often measure MY success with how happy God is with me. This is so twisted. He always loves us. He’s always “fond” of us. Often times, growing up, scare tactics are used to help children with good behavior. This portrays God in an untrue light; big, scary God, looking to strike us down. I definitely have to overcome this mindset and know, my God loves me fiercely. He is so big, that he loves me all the same. The disappointment I feel is from within myself, not sent from heaven to smite me. <3

    1. Thank you, Katie! I giggled at the smite comment…we joke about that in our house sometimes, “Ooo…you better not do that; God’s gonna smite you!” But we often live with that feeling in the back of our minds. It’s totally messed up and not how God is with His children at all.

  3. It’s especially hard when women are told by the people they love most that they are disappointed in them. The disappointment is internalized until you feel that it’s impossible to perform and please anyone ever. This leads to defeat. The sad thing is that women are often overperforming! They are wonderful and don’t even know it because of continuous disappointment in their loved ones’ eyes.

    1. That’s why we have to lay aside every weight and run to the author and perfecter of our faith. “Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” Hebrews 12:3

  4. I can’t imagine how much wonder we would see throughout our day if we accepted the fact that God has already forgiven us and He’s chosen us. I know my day would hold so much more purpose – or at least I would see that purpose much more clearly!

  5. “My mom responded “I used to always see a disappointed face. Now…He’s usually smiling.” ”

    I want this too be what I see! Him smiling.

    1. The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. – Psalm 147:11, NIV

      The more we seek God the easier it is to believe He’s smiling at us. 🙂

  6. So good and so encouraging! I think often that we think we have to measure up to Christ a certain way, like we need to make ourselves worthy of Him. Yet, it doesn’t matter what we do, or how bad we have messed up, God’s love for us is unchanging and will never change. His character is unchanging and his steadfast love can never go away! Praise the Lord that there is grace for when we do make mistakes but his love for us is so grand!

    1. Right?! The more we understand God’s love for us, the more we want to obey Him. I’m so grateful for His patience and steadfast love.

  7. I grew up in a house where “I’m so disappointed in you” was the primary way of disciplining me. Because I didn’t need anything else. I crumbled every time because I wanted to please my mom. I then viewed myself as a perpetual disappointment to everyone around me. And that inevitably became how I thought God viewed me as well. It truly has only been within the last couple of years that I have a better understanding of God’s love and my worth through Him. But even now this can be an easy thing to fall back into. Like Katie had described in her blog post last week, the old clothes we put back on.

    1. It can definitely be a daily challenge to rewrite those old tapes. But like Paul said in Romans 7: “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

  8. I think when I envision God looking at me, He is disappointed. This post was encouraging and inspirational because God loves me not due to the good things I do or don’t do. He loves me because He made me.
    Thank you for this sweet encouragement!

  9. I like this, “But when God looks at us He sees Jesus, not our shortcomings”. Satan does make us feel that God is always frowning at us because of our failures. On the contrary, he is ever smiling at us with open arms.

  10. I made the comment once, “God is surely strong because I am mighty weak.” On some days it’s an encouragement to me of how great His faithfulness is.

  11. What a powerful point your preacher made. I tell my kids often there is nothing you can do to make GOd love you any more and there is nothing you can do to make him love you any less. He just loves you. You are the one who gets to decide to love him back.

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