For kids, some of the biggest hurts come from being called names or being left out of a group. As an adult, I think one of the biggest hurts comes from being misunderstood. When someone mistakes our actions, lifestyle or intentions we can feel pretty raw, exposed and even angry. But the sting of being misunderstood can be soothed by a few truths:
1. Jesus gets it.
Isaiah 53:3 says: He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Even Jesus' own mother and brothers called him out of His mind at one point and tried to distract Him from His ministry. So our very own Savior had family and friend problems. Who better to go to with our hurts from being misunderstood.
*item 2. By placing our value in other people's opinions, we leave out the only opinion that matters...God's opinion.
Our Father in heaven loves His children and looks kindly upon them. He also knows our hearts and if we have asked Him to search us and to show us if we have done something wrong or out of the wrong place, we must rest in the comfort of knowing our Father loves us and cares for us deeply. That the Lord delights in us! Did you know he sings over us?
Zephaniah 3:17 says:
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
*item 3. Being misunderstood is an excellent time to increase prayer and ask for unity.
Because of our human failings and limited vision, we can not know all that goes into the thoughts and actions of other people. Sometimes we see such a small piece of the puzzle. It's not helpful to take on hurts or make opinions with limited information. We must go to God and ask for forgiveness if we have hurt someone, pray for the one who has hurt us and ask that God work within the situation. God desires unity among His people and if we earnestly and humbly seek Him, He will provide a way.
Any time of hurt is an opportunity to increase our faith and understanding of God and His son who came for everyone - the violator and the one violated. We are called to "cast our cares upon Him." (1 Peter 5:7) Prior to that verse we are called to be humble and after we are warned to be discerning, however, standing in the middle of humility and discernment is Jesus, waiting to hold on to us.