Dealing with disappointment: Musings following Vikings NCF Championship Loss

Well the Minnesota Vikings lost another football game. It is disappointing to all fans. It is a perfect time to examine some basic principles of coping with disappointment. Before quickly examining disappointment, it is worth noting that the emotion of disappointment happens when a desire, hope, wish, need, want, or expectation goes unmet. It is a God given emotion, which can signal to us a need of evaluation and changing focus. Either a person can get wrapped up and locked in the emotion of disappointment or take some steps to deal with it. As always, for each of us, true peace and focus comes from keeping eyes off the temporary things of this life and world and on to the eternal. When the focus is on God and the things of God, disappointment is always but momentary. Now that being said there are some basic skills one can use to cope and learn from disappointment.

1: Be thankful for the good. It is very easy to focus on what ifs and what could have happened anytime there is a disappointment. It is hard to express gratitude and thanksgiving and celebrate the good. It is all about setting aside own personal wants, desires, and expectations and taking an approach of gratitude.

2: Learn from your disappointment. Each time something does not occur in a way wanted, desired, or expected it is an opportunity to learn. It is an opportunity most of all to learn about self, about what things have become a priority and focus. It is also a chance to learn from mistakes so you do not end up in same position as before. This also really involves examining choices. A good step to do here is to ask God to reveal anything about self that needs to change as a result.

3: Forgive others: If a person has disappointed you and done things to let you down, it is important to forgive the person. If hold onto any offense of disappointment and do not forgive it can damage relationships and lower your overall mood and attitude. Forgiveness is a real key in being able to release emotionally. It is an intentional act.

4: Evaluate your focus. Figure out why disappointed and If remain that way find out what you are focusing on. Disappointment is but momentary, and refocusing on what is important, changes the focus. A particular way for us to change focus is look to what is beyond self: God and others.

Each action is a necessary skill to move beyond the emotion of the moment. Granted, a person can use the skills outside of a relationship with God, but without the ability to look beyond self to God, the skills are limited to simply coping. Turning to God and looking to him in the midst of disappointment can bring peace to a disquieted soul. Now there is probably more ways to examine this topic, but this writer is tired. Today as a Vikings fan, disappointment is experienced. Working on using the skills and focus on the good God is doing. Feel free to share your thoughts on disappointment and effectively dealing with that emotion.

2 Responses

  1. Well, some disappointment can be handled this way. Other times there is a much deeper response needed.
    Disappointment can point to an idol, more than just a desire. Something that you have placed your hope and life into other than God. When it fails, you fall headlong into the realization of its failure.
    You can continue to be thirsty and hope for vain things. Or begin to see that there is life outside of the things that are temporal on earth.
    Turn from that which is temporal for what is eternal and life giving that will satisfy.
    Relationships is a huge one, people fail. And that is where forgiveness needs to be given. But, more so than that is a dependence on God and not on the idol for life.


  2. Rob, well said. The intent of the article was a quick scratching of the surface. The dynamic described was in mind when writing the article, but it was intended to point to basic skills with words that would draw to examine and think more deeply, trusting God draws out what He desires to bring to attention.

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