1 Cor 13:12 says “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
Often times we think we have a good handle on things and we believe that we understand what’s going on, but in reality something totally different is happening. Things that are said can easily be taken in the wrong way and things that are unsaid are often misconstrued as an intentional kick in the teeth. As a pastor I have often been on both sides of these misunderstandings, I have misunderstood others and had many misunderstand me. Sometimes these unfortunate occurrences can lead people to leave a church and start searching for a new fellowship. Outside of the church setting misunderstandings can lead to lost friendship, estranged family members and even broken marriages.
So how do we handle these most difficult situations? WWJD? First of all we need to remember that sometimes what we think is real, may only be a shadow of how things really are. Until we meet Jesus face to face, our own perceptions of reality can never be fully trusted. When we run into a case of misunderstanding I think Jesus would want us to address it in a spirit of love and understanding. Go the extra mile to make things right. Sometimes an apology (whether we feel we should have to make one or not) will salvage a valuable relationship. Maybe you have a broken relationship in your life caused by misunderstanding – if so have you done everything you can to make it right? You can not control the actions of others, the one thing you can control is how you deal with and respond to others. Look at it from a different point of view and remember that to them their version of what happened is just as real as yours is to you.
The last verse of 1 Cor 13 says “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” When you aren’t sure of what is really real, you can be sure that the love of God through Christ Jesus is the ultimate reality that all Christians are called to embrace and demonstrate in their actions and words.
You are love – teach me to deal with misunderstandings in a way that demonstrates your character within my own.