Cover 2016-07-10

Ron Writes

Anatomy of a Misunderstanding

Being misunderstood is frustrating. An innocent act or word causes an offense. It leaves you feeling helpless. Often when you try to correct the situation, you only make it worse. One of “Murphy’s Laws” is that “by making something absolutely clear, someone will be confused.” It happens to us all.

The tribes of Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh would accompany the rest of Israel into Canaan. However, they wanted to make the east side of the Jordan home. When the fighting of conquest was over, they prepared to go home back to the east side of the river. Since they dwelt on the other side of the river they were afraid that future generations would forget their part. So they built a large altar as a memorial.

When the sons of Israel heard of the altar, they prepared to go to war. They assumed that they were rebelling against God by building an idol. This is how many misunderstandings begin. Hasty suspicion. False accusations. Exaggeration. Anger. They are ready to go to war. After years of fighting side by side, they were now to be enemies.

Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and a satisfactory answer was given. Disaster was avoided.

May we pray the prayer of Francis of Assisi, “Lord, grant that I may seek more to be understanding than understood.”

The most massive misunderstanding of all relates to God. God is not angry with you. He doesn’t hate you. He’s not here to rob you of your job. He came to give life. Too often we have twisted things. We jump to conclusions. We exaggerate. Theology is not us trying to get to God, it’s God searching for us. God is a God of love who longs for you. Too often we present a terrible God that no one would want a relationship with. God loves us, not because of our goodness, but because of his greatness. Jesus came to correct our misunderstandings. Too often the chords of legalism bind us and prevent us from seeing the God of love. God wants the best for you and of you. He sees the best in you.