If you are following the path of Jesus-you will be misunderstood! Well-meaning Christians who do not understand your unique purpose, may unknowingly cause you to feel guilty because you are not following what the majority are doing. I typically find in the church setting more followers than leaders.
Was Jesus misunderstood? Yes, He had a unique mission while here on earth and needed to obey God whether He was completely understood by people or not. Jesus was mission-minded. To be mission-minded you may need to get comfortable with being misunderstood, even by your family and friends. Joyce Meyer’s had a unique calling for her life, and she has discussed that in the beginning of her ministry she was misunderstood by her church and her family.
Reflect and ponder: Have you always felt a little different than others? Do you sense you are being set-apart to fulfill God’s Kingdom purpose? Do you sometimes feel a bit out of place?
Ways to handle being misunderstood:
1. Know your purpose. Write out your purpose that God has given you for your life. If you know what you were created to do, it won’t bother you as much when people don’t get you. Get mission-minded!
2. Surround yourself with people who support and encourage your calling, not their agenda for you! If you have not realized yet that if you allow others to dictate to you what you should be doing-they will! Know your purpose and do not be swayed and pulled by what people want you to accomplish for them.
3. Realize that you are not alone. Jesus was misunderstood by the people closet to Him, yet He still fulfilled His mission.
4. Don’t try and explain to others in great lengths who do not fully get what you’re about, be as brief as possible. Pray that the Holy Spirit shows them, and then move on!
5. Stay focused! When distractions come, temptations come, and the naysayers come-don’t let the enemy derail you from your path.
6. Don’t compare yourself to ANYONE else, not even the people who are serving fervently at your church. You may be tempted to think, “Maybe I should serve like _____________ (you fill in the blank).”
If you live in a way where everyone understands you all the time, then you will not stand for anything. People will have expectations of you and want to put you in a “box”, but when you get focused on your mission you can rise above their expectations.
MEDITATE ON THESE SCRIPTURES:
Jesus’ family misunderstood Him. The crowds were impressed, but Jesus family were not: “He is out of his mind.” (Mark 3:21)
Jesus’ friends misunderstood Him. Jesus was explaining to His disciples God’s plan for Jesus, but Peter, one of Jesus closest friends, took him aside and said, “Far be it from you Lord, this shall not happen to you.” (Matthew 16:22).
Feeling misunderstood by family, friends, and perhaps even your neighbors-take heart, Jesus also experienced these types of misunderstandings.
You can provide opportunities for others to understand you, but never demand that they understand you-take the high road of humility. A true test of spiritual maturity is how we respond when we are being misunderstood or judged unfairly.