I am a full-fledged adult, and I still don’t feel like I know what to do when I let people down. Of course, I understand that we live in a world that’s been broken by sin so we all hurt others, whether intentionally or unintentionally. That’s just part of life until Jesus returns. But letting others down still gets to me. As a Christian, I know that I’m supposed to be reflecting Jesus, but when I let the people around me down, I feel like I’m failing both them and Jesus.
Sometimes, we just mess things up entirely. Sin gets in the way, and we let down the people we love. What then? We can apologize and seek forgiveness, but what if we still feel gross? Then we can look again to Jesus and be reminded of the value He sees in us. In fact, looking toward Jesus should be the first thing we do when we fail.
Jesus died on the cross for us, knowing that we all mess up again and again. That didn’t stop Jesus from sacrificing His life and inviting us to join in His resurrection. God knows that we sin, and He readily offers forgiveness.
Whenever we fall, Jesus wants to pick us back up and help us turn away from our sin. We don’t have to live under the crushing weight of guilt and shame, because Jesus has set us free (Psalms 32:1-5; 34:5).
It helps me to remember that God sees the value in me, even when I don’t see it in myself. He made me on purpose, and despite any mistakes I make or anything I do wrong, I still bear God’s image (Genesis 1:27). • Naomi Zylstra
• Once we’ve put our trust in Jesus, we can know that we are totally forgiven from all our sins—past, present, and future. Even so, when we mess up and let others down—either by sinning or just by making a mistake—we often feel gross. How could it be helpful to turn to Jesus in these times and remember how He sees us? (Ephesians 1:4-14; 2:4-10)
• Sometimes, we let others down even when we don’t do anything wrong. They might have expectations or desires that we cannot meet, and this can be difficult to navigate. Even Jesus experienced people being disappointed in Him, so He can empathize with us. He grieves our hurts with us, holding us close and reassuring us of His unconditional love. If you’re struggling with letting people down, who are trusted Christians in your life you could talk to about this?
Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)