I could write a book on being misunderstood. I wont because it would mostly be a compilation of awkward moments caused by miscommunication and poor attention to detail. Stories like the time I bought a shirt that said 100% natural, which at the time I understood to mean organic. I.WORE.IT.A.LOT. I was proud to be slightly ahead of the “clean eating” trend. It wasn’t until I wore that shirt to a church camp, that a friend pulled me aside to tell me the “natural” that was written across my chest was not referring to my eating style… not exactly the statement I was intending to make.
I sometimes think of that t-shirt and smile at how easy it is to be misunderstood. The message we are sending is not always the message people are receiving. And ya’ll, messages have been failing for thousands of years.
Remember when David wanted to show some love to new king Hanun? Oh you don’t? Well you can read it here 1 Chronicles 19:1-21. Anyway, here is my super abbreviated version:
David wanted to show some love to the son of his old buddy, Hanun. Who had just become king btw (NBD). So he sent some men to express sympathy to Hanun concerning his late father. Unfortunately, that is not the message that was received. Hanun’s commanders convinced him that David actually sent his men to spy out the land and overthrow it. Poor David!! Some people are so misunderstood. And poor David’s men after Hanun freaks out, cuts off their beards and sends the men packing with their butts exposed… as if cutting their beards was not enough!!!! (I have no idea how new kings typically react… I have limited knowledge of royalty, but this seems like a great example of the wrong way to respond to bad news). I wont spoil the rest of the story for you, but I will say that plenty of really bad things could have been avoided had it not been for this little miscommunication.
As women, we love to read deep into EVERYTHING. The clothing store clerk offers to grab us another size, and we are all up in arms offended they don’t think we are really a size 2. The barista, calls us ma’am and we are sternly explaining that, “we are not that old YOUNG MAN”. Our kids say they want a snack, and suddenly we are a bad mother… okay those are just me, but I really needed to get that off my chest. Thank you.
Back to us. Before we read too far into someone else’s intentions, (you know, like deciding the girl in the 100% natural shirt is a huge skanky skank, and not just a moron) lets commit to the ancient practice of… TALKING TO EACHOTHER.
Matthew puts it this way: “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you” (18:15).
Has a simple misunderstanding caused a rift in one of your relationships? There is still time to make it right. Maybe you need to take the first step towards unraveling the miscommunication and salvaging the relationship.
Dear friend that encouraged me to retire my boobie brag shirt, you’re the bomb!
Love you girls. Praying for you this week.