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Prayer For The Week Of July 8 — When Feeling Misunderstood

July 8, 2013
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To be great is to be misunderstood.  —Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don’t know about you, but one of the prime frustrations in life is being misunderstood.  They say this stings deeper for people that are writers.  Who knows.  All I know is that it offends my sense of justice sorely.  I think I can put up with people not liking me.  I mean, everyone can’t like everyone.  Sometimes someone is just not your cup o’ tea and that’s OK.  I can even put up with mean people, I think.  Some people in life are just mean.  Perhaps because of past hurts and brokenness, their only defense is a good offense.  I can usually see past that.  I think I’m a pretty good forgiver.  At least I try.

What really gets my goat is being misunderstood.  Someone can disagree with what I have to say, but when they misunderstand my motive in saying it, that bites.  When someone assumes that I mean one thing, when I really mean another, that hurts.

Add to that compulsive people pleasing tendencies…..and well….you have a recipe for emotional disaster.  In the past when I’ve encountered being misunderstood or what I’ve perceived as such, I have tried to explain myself and re-explain myself and re-explain myself and re-explain myself.  To no avail. Somehow in the end someone ends up with their feelings hurt.  And I feel no more understood at the end then I did in the middle of the fray.

And so, I’ve had to let go.  Now that is difficult.  Really difficult.  You know what I mean.  When someone is determined to think the worst of you or to share the worst of you with others or tarnish your reputation or simply refuses to try to understand, it takes every ounce of courage to surrender that to the Lord and to not defend yourself.  To allow someone to think badly about you, is a great grace.

I think of Jesus.  Profoundly misunderstood.  When He was like a lamb, people couldn’t understand why He didn’t come in like a warrior.  When He was like a raging fury (remember that incident in the temple, throwing out the money changers?) people wanted to know who gave Him permission or authority to be so bold!  When He ate with sinners He was accused of being a drunkard.  When He spoke in parables, no one understood.  How difficult it would be to be in those shoes, do you think?  For people to constantly be second guessing you, thinking you came to destroy the law and prophets, accusing you of not being a good Jew, but not accepting you as a Gentile either.  Can you imagine Jesus attending Hebrew school listening to old Rabbis muddying up the Scriptures–Scriptures you wrote before that rabbi was even born?

Yet, this Jesus did not go about defending Himself.  Instead he said, “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family. You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble. Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.”  Matthew 5:9-13a

Feeling Misunderstood

Isaiah 53:7 “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth…”

I still do not enjoy being misunderstood.  But, I guess it bothers me less than it used to.  I can count myself sometimes in good company–the prophets, witnesses, saints, and Jesus Himself.

Jesus, surround me with Your heart–a heart set after You.  A heart that does not seek so much to be understood, but to understand.  To not worry about the opinions of others, but to concern myself solely with the opinion of You.  In the final analysis, let me be found faithful to Your call, to Your heart, to Your vision and to the person you have created me to be.  Amen.

(Linked to Motivation MondayMaking Your Home SingYou’re Gonna Love It!Hope In Every SeasonTitus 2 Tuesday Hearts For Home Hop and Pin It Monday Hop!)

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Georgina permalink
    July 8, 2013 11:04 am

    So true…but your testimony shows you have come a long way! Praying the same for me 🙂

  2. July 8, 2013 11:10 am

    I so completely understand and resonate with this! And part of me is also mad at myself that I cared so much.

    This past December I had a huge issue with one of my husbands family members..At first it was devastating to me. But then as I processed what had happened, I decided to let it go. I mean completely. And now for the first time in 25 years I am free of worrying about how this person thinks about me. I have finally and completely accepted that we will never be friends and that I cannot trust her. While this sounds negative, it’s the most positive thing that has happened to me in the entire history of this relationship! I’m not mad, I’m done. I will never explain myself again,and now I am free to do what I think is right unencumbered by the paralyzing fear that I will be misunderstood and not liked. It’s positively liberating!

    Thanks for addressing such a difficult subject. 🙂

    • a.nerdinyan@yahoo.com permalink
      July 8, 2013 1:33 pm

      I can understand you very gooood.
      God bless you

  3. a.nerdinyan@yahoo.com permalink
    July 8, 2013 1:34 pm

    Thank you Daja, i was very blessed.

  4. Sylvia permalink
    August 29, 2013 9:49 am

    I really needed to hear this today…. and re-visit it often☺ Thank you for being so honest and open allowing us to relate and receive comfort and refocus our hearts where they belong.

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