It is so easy to be misunderstood. Conversations are open to personal interpretation. When we talk to other people, there is always room for misunderstandings. After all, we even have trouble understanding ourselves sometimes.
Texts and emails are hotbeds for misinterpretation. Emotion and facial expressions are not easily accessible, even when allowing for the inclusion of emojis. It’s just not enough, and sometimes there are misunderstood intentions.
Telephone conversations are also rife with the potential for missing a persons intentions. Without that face to face connection, we can find that our conversations have the potential to get all mixed up.
We have all been there. We find ourselves in a pickle. Hurt. Angry. Anxious. Stewing in our own juices. Misunderstood or misinterpreting someone else without acknowledging the potential for our own error.
That’s right. It could be us. We might be the one who heard wrong. We missed a word. We weren’t really paying attention at first. We may have been distracted. Perhaps we didn’t make ourselves clear. Perhaps we didn’t have the right words to make our position understood. We have to allow for the possibility that we were unable to make ourselves heard and understood or maybe we didn't hear and understand.
2 Corinthians 1:24 MSG
“We’re not in charge of how you live out the faith, looking over your shoulders, suspiciously critical. We’re partners, working alongside you, joyfully expectant. I know that you stand by your own faith, not by ours.”
Misunderstood conversations aren’t a new or recent discovery. 2 Corinthians 1:12-24 is all about the misunderstood intentions between Paul and the people at Corinth. Yep. They too were experiencing hurt feelings because of a misinterpretation of intentions. Ouch! Yep. It happens to all of us. We misunderstand or they misunderstand, but the important part is that we clear the air.
When we are dealing with misunderstandings, whether it’s ours or theirs, we have to realize that we each have the opportunity to make it right. We are partners, working alongside one another, joyfully expectant. We each should have one another’s backs, acknowledging the possibility of good intentions.
Open the door to the possibility of misunderstood good intentions and clear the air. We each have to do our part. Apologize or forgive (or maybe both); clear the air and then move forward. We don’t have time for anything else. We have work to do. God’s work.