Published August 2, 2017

Paul's Epistle
"Feeling Misunderstood?"

"Nobody understands me!"

Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt completely misunderstood? And that misunderstanding was completely "unfair" or "unjust," in your mind. I think each of us has felt that way at one time or another — maybe many times — over the years. I think it's especially common for youngsters.

1st Samuel 24 tells us how David was completely misunderstood by King Saul, who was jealous of David's growing popularity with the people. David had go to great lengths to prove to him that he meant Saul no harm.

Recently I heard this classic story about a case of misunderstanding:

A judge was interviewing a woman regarding her pending divorce. He asked her, "What are the grounds for your divorce?" She replied, "About four acres and a nice little home in the middle of the property."

"I mean," he continued, "What are your relations like?" "I have an aunt and uncle living here in town, and so do my husband's parents."

He said, "But do you have a real grudge?" "No," she replied, "We have a two-car carport and have never really needed one."

"Please," he tried again, "is there any infidelity in your marriage?" "Yes, both my son and daughter have stereo sets. We don't necessarily like the music, but the answer to your question is 'yes'."

"Ma'am, does your husband ever beat you up?" "Oh, yes," she responded, "most days he gets up earlier than I do and makes breakfast."

Finally, in frustration, the judge asked, "Lady, why do you want a divorce?" "Oh, I don't want a divorce," she replied. "I never wanted a divorce. It's my husband. He says he can't communicate with me."

While we might be amused by that story, it rings a little too "close to home" for a lot of people.

Unfortunately, we will all be victims of misunderstanding from time to time. Interpersonal communication is often imperfect, at best, especially when personal prejudices and judgmental assumptions come into play.

But aren't you glad that, while "man looks at the outward appearance ... the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Sam. 16:7). Unlike others around you, the Lord knows you so completely — so totally — that He knows and completely understands your every motivation. He knows why you do all the things you do. He even knows your thoughts about all this. And, yes, He actually understands you better than you understand yourself. As the Psalmist says, "You understand my thought afar off" (Psalm 139:2).

Now, the Lord might not approve of all of those things — your thoughts and motivations — but, after all, He's still working on us. And He does understand your need to work through some issues now and then. But He's the one — often the only One — Who can really help.

Whenever you feel misunderstood, remember Proverbs 3:5: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." The Lord will never misunderstand you.  Never!  And the more you know about Him, the better you will understand Him and His precepts, His will for your life. So study His Word diligently and pray that the Holy Spirit will enlighten you with understanding about the issues you will inevitably face.

When you fully realize that God knows you intimately and understands you completely, you will be able to deal confidently with whatever is happening around you. What matters ultimately, of course, is what God thinks – not what those around you think.

Live by the reassuring instruction of 1 Peter 5:6 - "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God ... casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."

- Paul

Comments on this? paul@thegospelgreats.com

To share this column with your Facebook friends, click on the logo or "share" link below.

Share

Copyright 2017 Heil Enterprises. All rights reserved.

Return to the Archives Index page for more recent columns.