Has someone in your life disappointed you greatly? Life is full of those kinds of disappointments. Guess what—you’ve disappointed some people, too, no doubt. Well, what can we learn from Jesus in dealing with people who fail us?

Did you ever think about how his closest friends and associates failed Jesus? Judas betrayed him; Peter denied him; they all fled at the first sign of trouble. These twelve men were disappointing failures as disciples, were they not? They were slow to learn, they had their priorities all confused, they had ulterior motives for following Jesus. Over and over Jesus indicated his frustration with their lack of faith and trust in him.

Yet he never threw them off the team. He allowed them to fail; he permitted them to make mistakes; he suffered through their ignorance and arrogance, until finally they became the men he intended them to be.

This is a people skill we all need to learn from Jesus and learn well. People need time to learn and grow. Failure is one of the best teaching methods ever invented. Time is also a good teacher. So, in dealing with people, remember that disappointments come with the territory.

Been disappointed in your child lately? Remember what you were like at his or her age. That always does it for me, because I can clearly remember the dumb things I did in early years, and my daughter is way ahead of where I was. Give your child time to grow. Teach and coach and role model for your children, but remember, they’re going to disappoint you as they grow and learn.

Got an employee who disappoints you sometimes? Maybe he or she hasn’t yet polished their verbal skills and they say the wrong words at times. Be patient with them. You probably have had your share of shoe polish on your face from inserting your foot in your mouth. If that person is teachable, he or she could become one of your most valued employees.

Another great people skill principle from our Master: Allow people to fail and disappoint and make mistakes, because in the process they learn and grow.