So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil (Rom. 14:16).
Have you ever tried to do something good but found out later that what you meant for good actually offended someone else? Have you ever lost a friend or suddenly felt unsafe because of your mistake? It’s a lonely place to be when you’re misunderstood. In fact, it can feel like it’s you against the world. It hurts even more when you are blindsided by the fact that what you did could be considered so wrong. Especially when you didn’t even think twice about it because you did it so innocently. And that’s when Satan starts his attack.
Satan sees an opening when the fear and hurt of being misunderstood starts to creep in. He knows that our need for others’ approval is going to take our focus off of Christ and put it back on ourselves.
Sometimes, we may wonder why it is even good to be friendly or to try to help someone. Sometimes, I feel like hiding away from the world, becoming a hermit, and protecting myself from being misunderstood. But then I am reminded that Jesus was misunderstood, too.
When the Israelites looked for their Savior, they were expecting a majestic King Who would save them from all their troubles here on Earth. They expected Someone to come riding in on a white stallion, but Jesus came clomping in on a donkey. They expected Someone Who would wipe out evil with a blazing sword, but Jesus was known as tender and compassionate. Who was this Jesus?
This misunderstood Savior is the only One Who can save us from our sins. He made lame men walk and blind men see; He cast out demons; He convinced prostitutes to give up their lifestyle to follow Him; He ate with sinners; He rejected the proud and gave grace to the humble (Jas. 4:6). And over and over again, His intentions and authority were questioned. Ultimately, He was so misunderstood by His own neighbors that He was traded for a known criminal and jeered at, spit upon, and tortured until death in exchange for our sins.
This misunderstood Savior understands us better than we understand ourselves. He sees our struggles with one another and weeps for our damaged relationships and broken communities. He sees our hurt and our unforgiveness, and He understands better than we ever could that we are allowing Satan to have his day. We are taking our eyes off of Him.
Right now, I am fighting Satan’s pull to let others’ approval let fear reign in my heart. So, I write these words for me and hope that they encourage someone else as well. Because when I can’t see grace and forgiveness from another person, I know that I can find grace and forgiveness in my Savior, Who was more misunderstood than you or I ever could be!
I was reminded in church this morning that I shouldn’t fear what others think of me because God delights in me (Ps. 147:11)! He doesn’t misunderstand me! He knows the thoughts and intents of my heart, and nothing I could ever think or do will ever erase the grace and forgiveness He has given to me.
I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds (Jer. 17:10).
What about you, Friend? Are you feeling misunderstood today? No matter what you are going through, you have a Savior Who loves you and understands you, and He is opening His arms to you right now. Trust Him for He loves you so much!