“‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Deut 5:20 )
Don’t take hold of a misunderstanding, giving it no opportunity to be resolved or cleared up, and instead tell others about it as if it were the truth.
Misunderstandings happen. I have often hoped for grace from others when I have either misunderstood something, or I have been misunderstood.
But there is a pride in some that just won’t let them admit they have misunderstood something. That lack of communication that could most often keep friendships safe, marriages strong and family close in heart, often gets overlooked or disregarded.
That’s when anxiety pulls the strings with impulsive reactions, causes a spewing out of hurtful words that can’t be pulled back in under a controlled tongue. The mind plays tricks, creates scenarios that consume concentration. Reality is saturated with illusions and injections of a “read between the lines” offensiveness that often doesn’t even exist.
Negative, accusing thoughts are illuminated and become like darts of poison to a misunderstanding.
The wisdom of God‘s Word in Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (NASB) stands out like a beacon of light on the darkest of nights.
God’s Word heeded saves friendships during times of misunderstanding.
I grieve the loss of friendships torn away from me by confusion of circumstances, misreading of intentions, and not having open heart-to-heart conversations.
Be anxious for nothing. But in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving: Let your requests be made known to God.
That seems so clear. Until I walk away from it, and my thoughts remind me of a perceived offense.
In light of God’s advice: maybe my own perception is affected and influenced by things outside of what really happened. Maybe what I see is tainted by my choice to instead meditate on the perception. Perhaps my prideful ego suckled on the bitterness of a false negative, while stirring up strife in my heart and in the hearts and lives of others.
Who wants to admit when they’ve made a mistake? Isn’t it easier to instead cover it up and share with others the perceived offense? Doesn’t the sweetness of revenge that drains the vitality of relationships grant a satisfaction, while turning people away from an innocent person that we project false guilt on to? To drag a reputation through the mud to elevate a temporary false victimization, that’s vindication, right? Isn’t that fair?
Enough of that. When it becomes the destroyer of reputations it is unfair and wrong. It’s actually a form of bullying.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (NKJV)
What are God’s thoughts towards us? Even though every one of us have sinned against God and fallen short, this says His thoughts are …”of peace and not evil, to give you (us) a future and a hope.”
What about thoughts towards those who we perceive to have sinned against us? Are they of peace?
We need to get this right. God will hold us accountable for our words and our actions. No matter how justified we believe we are.