Have you ever been misunderstood? Of course you have! Any time you do something in a public you risk being misunderstood. If you give someone a hard time, some may misunderstand and think you don’t like that person. If you tell a joke someone may think you are not taking a situation seriously. If you are serious, someone might misunderstand and tell others that you need to “loosen up.” It’s a terrible feeling when someone takes something you have said or done and misunderstands it or misrepresents it. Being misunderstood was a feeling the apostle Paul would become all too well acquainted with. Paul worked hard at communication. He was passionate about helping people understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. He preached that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Jewish hope, not the repudiation of it. Imagine his frustration when his fellow Jews twisted his message and accused him of being their enemy! Unfortunately misunderstanding can often lead to mistreatment. You may know that from a painful experience. Maybe you’ve lost a friendship, a job, or had a break in your family that can be traced back to a tragic misunderstanding. Most people are driven more by their emotions than by facts and logic. Allow me to give you five timeless truths when you're misunderstood:
The best defense is an honest, clear, non-defensive explanation of the facts.
You can't control how people respond to you.
Don't return "evil for evil."
Pray for those who misunderstand you.
Remember that God knows the truth. When others twist your words, speak the truth, explain yourself clearly, and then entrust your future with the God who knows you.
Press On, Pastor Brian Richard