Can you relate to this experience? Do you know who grieves with you when you are misunderstood? Jesus does. Do you know who else? Noah, Joseph, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, all the prophets, and the Apostles. Today I was reflecting on a devotion I read and was considering why it is exactly that I feel so uncomfortable around some people and some places. As I was going through my history, I was reminded by the Lord that those people and places where I still am uncomfortable with were/are those who have either “harmed me verbally in the past, falsely accused me, pre-judged or just assumed my motives were wrong, or caused me deep pain” usually the reason being, because they misunderstood me. You see, why these are still “wounds or traumas” I carry is because whenever there is a conflict or miscommunication between me and another, it is very upsetting to me. I try to keep the peace. Plus, I do everything within my power to address it through prayer and the Word of God and seek to always “make it right” and I have prayed for months sometimes and sought cousel in order to make sure my heart and motives are correct before God.
Now here is the remarkably interesting part. I can say with utmost confidence and a clear conscience before God, that every one of those situations which came to mind were all times which I was, one, either bearing my soul, in pain, and sharing my burden with a brother in a support group. Someone who I trusted with my heart and who I knew well. Or two, after much prayer and through the counsel of the Word of God, along with confirmation from the Lord through others, I had approached another and brought “light and truth” to a situation, but they did not receive it well! But almost 100% of the time they accused me of “being prideful, or of thinking “too highly of myself”, or that my motives were wrong in one way or another, etc.” And it is THESE situations which have caused the most pain and turmoil in my soul! The reason being because they were brothers or sisters in the Lord. And almost completely, people whom I had looked up to. Such as a pastor, elder, leader, or friend for many years. And because, most of the time, I am completely blind-sided by their response! It is like a lion jumping out of the bushes and attacking you. I leave grieved and wounded and confused and it always “leaves a permanent mark.” And one day down the road I realize the damage done when I am continually nervous and unsure about speaking in front of them or just in general conversation in any way with them. Especially because…they never realized the damage done and never dealt with it but instead “shoved it under the rug.”
Now, the only comfort I have found is one, that I have checked and rechecked along with the help of others to make sure my heart was in the right place in these relationships, and that I have done everything within my ability to bring healing and understanding between me and them. And two, that Jesus Christ, along with all those who have sought to please the Lord in the past, have been gravely misunderstood, since as the scriptures and history attest to, “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” (2 Tim. 3:12). And in these situations, I sought to step out in faith and courage, obeying my conscience and the Word of God. But it still hurts.
So, what is the blessing of being obedient to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God through all this? It is the gift of sharing in Christ’s sufferings and the joy of His resurrection power in my life! Since I have not, according to my knowledge, rejected the promptings of the Holy Spirit or desensitized myself to them in any knowable way, and therefore, I HEAR the Lord clearly (according to the knowledge I have that is). Do you consider this a “proud” statement? I also would consider it a proud statement … if I had not suffered to obey Christ and to keep a clear conscience before God every day. And therefore, the Word of the Lord testifies to this gift and blessing to the child of God who seeks the heart of God no matter the cost. So, I am not alone. Many hear from the Lord. His Word says we will. So, why should we not expect it to be so? However,…do not misunderstand me, which is our theme here. Simply put, if one does not live according to the inspired Word of God, the Holy Bible, they will never hear from God. Because the Spirit only confirms the Bible and never speaks against it or adds to it in some “new” way! If someone wants to hear from God, I suggest they study the Bible, praying for “the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him [Christ], having the eyes of your [their] hearts enlightened,” (Eph. 1:17b-18a). So, though I carry wounds from addressing difficult things with others, my conscience is clear before God, and I have sought to honor His name and Word above all human opinion and understanding.
Therefore, I rejoice and am blessed by God!