Have You Ever Felt Misunderstood?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Have you ever felt misunderstood? Have you ever felt like you’ve gotten off on the wrong foot with someone and they have the wrong view or perception of who you really are and your intentions? And now the ongoing relationship is affected in a negative way by that wrong perception? Welcome to the land of being misunderstood.

I don’t know of anyone who has not felt this at one time or another. It’s a hard place. Jesus went through it for most of His ministry and possibly his entire life. Some loved and embraced Him. Some stood back at arm’s length from Him in doubt, not sure of who He really was and what He was about. And some absolutely misunderstood Him and drew the wrong perception of Him—literally hating Him.

One thing we know for sure, Jesus did not contribute to their wrong perceptions. Those that had them, had them because of their own issues. Their tainted filters led to wrong imaginations about who He was and why He was doing what He was doing. This led to their wrong perceptions and their hatred and continuous attacks against Him.

We aren’t always innocent as Jesus was. Sometimes we have contributed to those wrong perceptions and we need to learn and mature in wisdom to avoid them. When you are misunderstood by someone, you can’t always fix the problem. Sometimes others are the problem. You can only continue on doing what you are doing from a right heart and pray through it to try to keep yourself from being overcome by hurt and tainted with bitterness and resentment.

One of my favorite non-Bible quotes is from Steven R. Covey. He says: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. He calls this the principle of mutual understanding. You can’t always protect yourself from other’s wrong perceptions other than from trying to learn what is causing them and do better. When they result from issues another person has, you may never be able to protect yourself except to keep your distance from that kind of person. But, in order to keep your own heart right, Covey’s principle is great: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Don’t jump to conclusions about someone, deducting why they are doing or saying what they are. It may not be any of your business and you may just be being a busybody. If it is your business and you find yourself thinking negative things about someone who could be you misunderstanding their intentions, then communication with them and find out. Get it out of the imagination zone where you are susceptible to your own wrong imaginations and false conclusions. It is what you’d want others to do with you.

God, through the Apostle Paul, gave us the most important truth to keep our imaginations about others right, if we would live by it. In his teaching on love he says in 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NKJV) “love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  The word “bears” is a Greek work that means to assume the best about someone.  “Hopes all things,” is related; meaning that loves hopes the best of everyone in every situation. “Endures all things,” means that because of love, there is a diligent effort to protect the relationship.

This word “love” is the word agape and it’s the God-kind-of-love. He wants you to love others with this kind of love. He wants you not to draw negative conclusions about someone from imaginations that are uninformed, but instead assume the best. If you are going to imagine anything about anyone without knowing the facts, then he wants you to believe the best, hope the best and protect them and yourself from bad imaginations. Because you love them with an agape love, if you are misunderstanding something about them, then go and ask if it’s appropriate. If it’s none of your business, assume the best and let it go.

When you walk out this kind of love in your life, it changes you. The Holy Spirit turns you from a skeptical negative person, into an upbeat, think-the-best kind of person. Over time it changes your character and helps you be misunderstood less and less. If you will live by God’s agape love, then even though someone may misunderstand you, at least you can keep your heart right toward them. If you are misunderstood, you may still hurt and feel pain, but Jesus did, too. And yet He forgave those who crucified Him. He is our role model.

I pray for any and all of you that are suffering from being misunderstood today. I pray that truth and love will prevail in that relationship and that you will become a champion of loving as God taught regardless!

Luke 2:34-35 (Message Bible) “Jesus’ father and mother were speechless with surprise at these words. Simeon went on to bless them, and said to Mary his mother, This child marks both the failure and the recovery of many in Israel, A figure misunderstood and contradicted— the pain of a sword-thrust through you— But the rejection will force honesty, as God reveals who they really are.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved


7 thoughts on “Have You Ever Felt Misunderstood?

  1. This article really helped me. I always thought I had a flaw because I always see the best in people too much. But now, I’m beginning to see that I’m just loving in a way God wants us to!

  2. I see my first comment today was not lost after all ! I thought it did not get posted due to forgetting to leave my name. I wanted to make sure I thanked you before my day was through but I see I did already! I have thanked Jesus for you also. God bless you, keep up the good work! E.

  3. Saint Francis of Asissi actually said “where I seek to be comforted may I give comfort, where I seek to be understood may I understand”. Just thought you may be interested to know that since you credit this saying to the person you mentioned where he may well have got the saying from Saint Francis. I may be misunderstanding his own musings there but it’s a point of interest none the less and a worthy saying to repeat/refashion ! Thank you for this post; I feel Jesus led me to it just when I needed it most. I am feeling like the most misunderstood woman in the world but knowing that Jesus the most loving person to ever have graced this earth, God in the flesh, was called the devil, I came across this website when searching for “answers” on how I feel. You have given a succinct solution to being misunderstood and I am grateful. May Jesus bless you. All the best to you, now and always.

    • Thanks Elaine! I am glad this spoke to your heart and Praise God for how He helped you find it! I don’t think Steven Covey’s got his saying from St. Francis but that’s fine because ultimately, all good things come from the Lord! Bless you, Pastor Tim

      • Mr Burt, I have been remembering your lesson all day today; choosing to see the god rather than the bad! It’s helping me feel a little lighter I must admit. Thank you for responding to my message, that is very good of you to take the time to do that. If you like Steve Covey ( I looked him up ) you will like this I am sure. Francis of Assisi quotes on Goodreads.com. I agree with your comment; all good things come from the Lord and there is no reason why more than one man should have the same realisations hence my awareness that I may have been misunderstanding Steve Covey’s own musings. I just think you will appreciate many of the quotes found on this website, made by Francis of Assisi. May I also thank you for your spoons story on your blog spot page; I have shared it with many friends today who love it! I am glad I have found your websites brother Tim. Thanks again for caring enough to reply, and thank you for all your wonderful, insightful postings. I can see you are a good servant, allowing The Lord to use you well. May I be as blessed as you are in this regard; pray for me please that I allow God to help me use my talents the way you do. I shall spare a thought and prayer for you also before this day is through.

      • Thank you so much for caring enough to respond Pastor Tim. Yes, you are absolutely right; all good things do indeed come from the Lord. Goodbooks.com St Francis of Assisi quotes has much of this inspired wisdom if you wish to take a look, if you are not already familiar with him; you have an interest in the wisdom of the Lord, a praiseworthy interest for sure and I think you would enjoy much of the saints God given revelations that Francis then chose to share with us all – the reason he was gifted with these insights in the first place. You too impart much wisdom for your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and I for one am very grateful. I shared the story of the spoons from your blog spot website with my mother and sister today and they were very touched by it. I shall share more from your posts with them I am sure. You are a good servant allowing the Lord to use you, to make use of the talents He bestowed upon you. Thank you again. You are an encouraging motivator and I am glad I found your websites. May God bless you Pastor Tim.

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