It seems I’ve been misunderstood my whole life. I was an extremely shy kid, but some thought I was just a snob. Fast forward a few years, and I embraced blue hair, black clothing—and more misunderstanding. As a prophetic voice, I’m attacked, maligned and otherwise misunderstood on a weekly basis.
Whether you’re operating in full-time ministry or full-time motherhood, maybe you can relate. Nobody likes to be misunderstood. Indeed, it can be downright discouraging to be doing your utmost for His highest and have your own family, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ judge your message and your motives.
So, what causes these misunderstandings and what can we do to help avoid them—or clear them up after they occur? There are at least four reasons for potentially messy misunderstandings we need to understand before we can move on to how to handle ourselves when we are misunderstood.
1. Simple miscommunications. Even the simplest miscommunications can be frustrating—and cause good friends to get into bad arguments.
Here’s a practical example. You and your friend agreed to meet at a local restaurant at lunchtime, but nobody agreed what “lunchtime” was beforehand. So you showed up at 1 p.m., and your friend was waiting there for 30 minutes, seething mad that you’re late. Or you asked your spouse to pick up your daughter but forgot it was their late night at work, so you got a call from the daycare manager asking where you were—and got a $15 late charge fee on top of it!
These types of miscommunications are easily avoided by saying what you mean and meaning what you say—and if there is any question, ask questions. This may sound simple, but it can save you a lot of trouble. Good communication skills are priceless because miscommunication leads to misunderstanding, which leads to misbehavior.
Along those same lines, if we are talking about spiritual things to someone who has their mind on natural things, we are often going to be misunderstood. Jesus warned the disciples to “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees” (Matt. 16:6). The disciples thought He was talking about bread, but He was talking about the Pharisees’ nasty religious spirit. They misunderstood His point.
2. Hidden motives. Sometimes we are misunderstood by people who have hidden motives that cloud their ability to understand what we are doing or saying. Often someone operating in pride will accuse someone else of being conceited or exclusive. Someone with a Jezebel spirit will accuse another of being controlling. People can project on you what’s in their own heart.
Saul, for example, could not understand that David was trying to honor him. He viewed David as an enemy set on taking the kingdom because his own heart was angry and vengeful. He could not trust that David’s heart was pure. When Saul observed men defecting to David, he blamed David rather than considering how his own actions were causing the exodus (1 Sam. 22).
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SOURCE: Charisma News