As humans, we all sin. Every one of us has frailties and periods of suffering. Often when difficulties arise, we turn to loved ones for comfort. But these people are human, too, and they’re subject to their own weaknesses and failures. So, even if they don’t mean to, they might fail us.
One reason people let others down is self-centeredness, which can prevent empathy. Another involves feeling overwhelmed by someone’s stressful situation or inadequate to help. A third possibility is that a person who’s made a mistake might be abandoned by friends who don’t want to be associated with the sin. In God’s eyes, repentance clears away the stain of sin, but we humans aren’t always so quick to forgive.
We can have a judgmental spirit, can’t we? At times we withhold emotional support because we’ve made assumptions about what caused a situation, such as when a friend loses a job or the bank forecloses on his home. A healthier approach is to realize trials are often beyond a person’s control—for instance, a company’s financial troubles can necessitate layoffs, or a poor harvest can mean losing the farm.
Understanding the reasons others fail us—and why we fail others—does offer a small consolation, but God provides a source of perfect comfort no human can provide. He’s the believer’s strength, encouragement, and constant companion.