Being misunderstood is a painful experience. Sometimes when we try to explain our true motives and make peace with the misunderstander we end up making the situation worse. Often the situation is such that we can’t say or do anything.
Once when I worked in a church office, a woman decided that a decision made by the pastoral staff had been my decision. She stopped speaking. Later, in a large group of people she brought up the subject and cast blame in my direction. I couldn’t explain that the person she wanted to exonerate had been the one who made the unpopular decision, not me.
Perhaps I should’ve spoken privately with this woman about the matter. But at the time, I felt confrontation would stir controversy and prolong hard feelings. I felt hurt and betrayed. One day when other staff members left for lunch, I went into the sanctuary to talk to the Lord about the lump of pain that had lodged in my chest over the misunderstanding. Many tears later, I sensed the Lord say, “She just doesn’t understand.” This bit of information made it easier for me to put the misunderstanding behind me and forgive.
Jesus was misunderstood by nearly everyone close to Him – parents, siblings, disciples and religious leaders. Yet he prayed for His tormentors – “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) No one is better equipped than Jesus to help us when we’re misunderstood.
Lord, I lay the pain of being misunderstood before you. I don’t want it to affect my relationship with you. Move in the recesses of my soul and heal my wounds. Show me how to respond to those who’ve hurt me. Give me your strength to respond in your way.