"Is God disappointed in me" is a common question that people ask themselves once they realize that they've made mistakes and have not lived up to God's standard. Pastor Perry Noble of the multi-site South Carolina-based NewSpring Church seeks to offer an answer.
Noble, who oversees a weekly congregation of 32,000, wrote in a March 29 blog post that he has heard an alarming misconception being communicated by some Christian pastors who suggest God's followers are "nothing more than a walking disappointment to our heavenly Father."
The pastor wrote that this sort of teaching is "messed up," suggesting that it gives evidence as to why some people have chosen to leave the church.
"'If all they can ever hope to accomplish is in the walking disappointment category then why even try?'" Noble questioned.
The evangelical leader goes on to ask if he would be able to maintain a healthy relationship with his 8-year-old daughter if he told her everyday she was a disappointment to him.
Such actions would cause us to label our God as "cruel and unjust," when in reality we have the "perfect father," Noble writes.
"What would happen if the church focused on empowering people rather than doing a drive by guilting on a Sunday?" Noble asks, adding "What would happen if the church began to talk about God's love, how powerful it is and how it can change someone's life!"
The megachurch pastor concludes his message by writing that he "honestly [doesn't] think you are a walking disappointment to God – I think you are someone who Jesus died for, and in Christ you've got what it takes to live a life full of joy and peace that brings God glory!"
Several evangelical pastors have spoken on the topic of disappointment before, including how to deal with disappointment in life.
In a May 2014 devotional, Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, focused on the feeling of disappointment and how it relates to sin.
Warren explains how someone can spend over a year planning a wedding, only to have the actual event done in a few hours.
The evangelical pastor explains that no matter how hard Christians try, they will never be able to make earth as perfect as heaven due to our sin, although they may try to achieve perfection through events, relationships, and possessions.
"This is not Heaven. Our ultimate job is to get people into the perfect place, not try to make the world a perfect place. Should we try to make the world better? Yes. Should we expect it to be perfect? No. The damage is too deep for repair," Warren explains. "Because that damage is so deep, we get stressed out — because things don't work right, we don't have enough time to get everything done, things get in our way. There are delays and difficulties and dead ends and, of course, disappointments."
Warren concludes that we feel this disappointment because "this is not Heaven. Everything on the planet is broken. Nothing works perfectly because of our sin."