I am so excited to introduce you to my dear blogging friend, Arabah Joy. I can’t remember exactly where I came across her or her blog, but what I do know is that she exudes love and the light of Christ. Her writing is beautiful and encouraging and I hope you will visit her blog for more encouragement.
Let’s face it, it happens. Being misunderstood. If it’s ever happened to you, you know the frustration that comes with it.
As people who say things on blogs, in comments, and across social media, we say a lot of things online. That’s a lot of potential to be misunderstood.
So the other day I said something online that was taken the wrong way by someone else.
In this particular case, the person reading my comment made assumptions about me, about why I said what I said, and about the spirit in which I had said it. Thing is, their conclusions were completely inaccurate.
As someone sensitive to the opinions of others and how I represent Christ online, I took this person’s comments to heart. The incident gave me opportunity to biblically think about what to do when we are misunderstood.
What to do when you are misunderstood
1. Realize it’s going to happen. Especially online.
Galatians 1:10 says, “Now am I trying to win the favor of men, or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bond servant of Christ.”
While we need to communicate with grace and sensitivity, if we are seeking God’s approval in what we say online, we can be free from the need to win the favor of everyone else.
It is difficult for others to determine our tone and spirit… much less our motives… when communicating online. Furthermore, they don’t have the benefit of body language and context when communicating digitally.
There will simply be times when people incorrectly assume things they wouldn’t otherwise. Let it go.
And as for our part, let’s make it a point to give our brothers and sisters in Christ the benefit of the doubt. Deal?
2. We don’t have to justify ourselves to people.
When I realized someone had misinterpreted my comment and assigned wrong motives to me, the Lord immediately brought Romans 8:33 to mind, which says, “Who shall bring an accusation against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.”
Do you see the implications of this verse? When we are justified before God, we do not need to justify ourselves to others. We don’t need to spend hours on end trying to prove we were right. We are not required to give an account to people in their court of law so to speak.
As someone with a very sensitive conscience, it is easy for me to wonder if/what I did wrong. But the Lord didn’t let me go there. He reminded me that He has justified me and my right or wrong-ness is not subject to the opinions of people. Praise the Lord, this person’s opinion did not lodge in my heart for a single second because of Romans 8:33.
3. We all must give an account… but to God, not people.
Another Scripture the Lord reminded me of was Romans 14:4: “Who are you to condemn someone else’s servant? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive His approval.”
While we should be sensitive to how God speaks through others, ultimately, we do not answer to people. We answer to God. God is our Master, not people. And in case you haven’t noticed, there will always be someone out there pointing a finger.
The good news of the gospel is that the work of Jesus Christ has made the way for us to stand before Him unashamed (see Jude 24) and to receive His approval. Isn’t that awesome news?! No matter how we botch things, the gospel means approval for us.
When we fail (and we will), we answer to the Lord and receive the forgiveness found in Christ.
[tweetthis]When we are wrongly accused, we can confidently stand approved in His sight. via @ArabahJoy #ShareTheBrew [/tweetthis]