Have you ever said something to someone and the other person took it totally different than how you meant it? Misunderstanding. I think that happens often between two people. My friend recently told me a story about a miscommunication she had with her husband.
They were talking about his desire to have more community and how it was difficult because they live in the mountains, their adult kids live far away and he works mostly from home. During their conversation, my friend said, “You should work at a coffee shop.” Her comment was met with silence. Then they went on with their normal day.
Two days later they were lying in bed and her husband said, “So, do you really think I should get another job at a coffee shop?” My friend was baffled.
“What are you talking about?”
“The other day you told me I should work at a coffee shop. I’ve been thinking about that for two days.”
“I didn’t mean get a job at a coffee shop, I just meant take your computer and work in an environment where you’re around people in our community.” Fortunately, they both have a great sense of humor and had a good laugh.
My husband and I have certainly had our share of misunderstandings and we don’t always end up laughing. After 32 years of marriage, I still have times I wish he understood me better.
Feeling misunderstood is a vivid reminder that no one really knows us.
No matter how long we’ve known someone or how well we think we know someone, we are human. We are not mind-readers, we can easily misunderstand each other and we don’t know everything about anyone. And by the way, people change.
But God never misunderstands us. He knows us.
“O Lord, you have searched me and know me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.” Psalm 139:1-4
One of our greatest human desires is to be known and loved, and guess what? Only God can fully meet that need.
So, next time you feel misunderstood pause for a moment and remind yourself God knows you. God understands you. And God loves you.
Also, remember you’ve probably misunderstood someone at sometime, maybe even recently. You may have taken something somebody said the wrong way and stewed on it for a while. Maybe it’s time to clear that misunderstanding up and let that person know you care enough about them to understand them.
Don’t let little misunderstandings cause huge rifts in important relationships. Life’s too short, our days too precious and relationships too important to not keep growing closer to each other through intentional efforts of understanding of each other.
And don’t lose your sense of humor because sometimes misunderstandings can be quite funny.
Jeannie Blackmer is excited about her newest book, Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer, and hopes this book will ignite a desire for a deeper, more intimate prayer life for readers and help others see how relevant the Bible is today. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband, Zane, and their three sons. For more information visit www.talkingtojesus.com. She also manages the Flatirons Women's blog and is always looking for writers!