I have hesitated to write this as it refers, though indirectly, to people who are close to me and who I respect a great deal. My point is less about the people who I’ve heard say this, and more about unpacking the understanding and/or worldview from which such sayings/thinking come.
Perhaps you have heard someone say this, or something like this: “People will always inevitably let you down, but God will never, ever let you down.”
I type this with no fear of being struck by lightning (thank you for your prayers in this regard). I would suppose, though, that many, many people, if honest, would admit to feeling they’ve been let down by God more times than they can count.
Of course, many of these stories would be about how people who claim to follow and serve and love God have let them down. Let’s face it; Christians (and perhaps folk from other faiths as well) talk a good game about how good God is and has been to us. But then, when it comes to following Jesus’ example or actually stepping into the hard work of allowing our lives to be transformed by the Holy Spirit, we instead purchase bumper stickers that say things like
“Christians aren’t perfect; just forgiven.”
Or we tweet things like “Don’t look at me, look at Jesus. #faithful”
I, for one, will not tell anyone that God will never, or has never, let them down. Rather, I will invite people to share about how they might feel God has let them down.
Then, as a pastor of God’s people, I will work to lead fellow Christ-followers to live and work in ways that embody a God we would like to think never lets anyone down.
As we learn to stop letting people down, we don’t have to tell them about a God who doesn’t.