Thursday, June 30, 2011

Speak From the Heart

Sometimes when God wants to get my attention on a matter, He will keep bringing up a certain word or concept. I don’t always catch on right away, but when I do I’ll ask Him “Why”? Why, Lord, are you giving me that word or thought?

He might answer me immediately (and I love it when He does), but other times it takes a while. Take this column, for example. I usually have a draft finished by Saturday morning. But as of Sunday morning, I still didn’t have the theme. I began four different columns; each one fizzled out. Thankfully this doesn’t happen very often. I know the Lord will come through, He always does. Sometimes though, I get a little nervous as the hours tick by.

So while prayerfully waiting for the message, that word popped up again, silently in my mind; "misunderstandings". It has surfaced several times the past few weeks and in many different situations, ranging from basic conversations with my spouse (we take each other the wrong way – a lot); to watching the evening news and seeing more murders committed by those who believe they are doing the right thing when they annihilate those who don’t agree with them. Then more recently, I heard "misunderstandings" at a gathering of loved ones, when one person was openly snubbed by another.

And that’s when I had my light bulb moment… misunderstandings was the concept He wanted me to write about. (Free writing lesson here, to answer those who ask where I get my ideas from; they’re not mine.) Misunderstandings stem from a variety of things, but when we really think about it, the root usually involves the heart. After all, if we are careful to put the needs of others before ourselves and to think the best of each other, then there is no room for jealousy, greed, or insecurity, which is the breeding ground for misunderstandings. And that’s what many of our deep hurts in life start out as; simple misunderstandings. Sometimes we are able to let them go, or nip them in the bud, but other times they escalate into huge divisions.

Jesus knew we would struggle in this area, that’s why His teachings focused around love and matters of the heart. Lest we forget, we live in a fallen world – people, including ourselves, make mistakes. When we choose to act from our fleshly nature, disregarding the promptings of the Spirit to do good, we can expect problems. But God didn’t leave us hanging. He instructed us to fight these battles by putting on our spiritual armor first thing in the morning when we seek Him (Psalm 5:3). That might mean rising at 5 a.m. to do this, but it will be worth losing a little sleep over.

Jesus also warned us that, “They hated me, they will hate you” (John 15:18). We can expect people to misunderstand us and not like us, just because we are Christians. We need to love them and pray for them.

As long as we stay in tune with the Spirit and obey God’s nudges, we will have fewer misunderstandings. These nudges might include apologizing to others. Here, too, we are to be sincere and speak from the heart. The resultant fallout will then be between that person and God. While we still need to pray for them, we can walk in peace knowing we obeyed.

Have you been bound in any misunderstandings lately? Speak from the heart, cover it in love, and then watch it untangle.

Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).

From My Heart,


Caroline said...

Ah, that is so wise: misunderstandings come from the heart. Truly when others com first (God's word!) it puts a different light on everything. How can we focus on our own hurt, when we're busy trying to understand where the other person is coming from?

Thanks for the post, Connie!

Diana Flegal said...

Beautiful Connie. Thank you.

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