When People Aren’t What You Need Them To Be

By Jim Voigt

Sometimes people aren’t enough. You want your father to be more affirming. You want your spouse to be more thoughtful. You want your friend to be more encouraging. You want your boss to notice your 120% effort and praise you for it. It’s not unusual at all to be unhappy in life because people don’t respond to you the way that you want. It’s likely one of the leading causes of divorce, job change, friendship issues as well as anxiety and depression. Life can be incredibly challenging when you need everyone in your life to be something for you that they are not.

I wonder if God feels this same level of frustration with us? Does God feel let down, angry and sad because he needed us to be better but we aren’t? Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. Jesus died on the cross because God saw we were continually unable to live in perfect harmony with him and abide by his laws for us. We could never live into God’s perfect expectations AND he loves us anyway. So much so that God sent his Son to exemplify his love and care for us. That is how much God values and loves you.

God is confident in his ability to be in relationship with us. He does not need us to be something we are unable to be but meets us where we are by offering a gift of peace in his Son, Jesus. A peace offering goes a long way in challenging relationships. The next time you feel someone has let you down, angered you or hurt you, ask yourself this question, “what did I just need them to be for me that they were unable to be”? Whatever the answer is, remember that God loves you perfectly and offers you the strength to love similarly (but not exactly). When we learn to live in harmony with God then we have confidence in who we are and begin an important journey of letting people be who they are too. Love people for who they are and not who you need them to be and you will have found perfect harmony with God. When you achieve that, write a book. It will be a best seller in 2020!