If we can't even understand ourselves fully, how can we think that we can understand the who, what, when,
Misunderstandings... Is There A Pink Elephant In The Living Room?
Misunderstandings and differences of opinion happen
amongst the best of us. Misunderstandings can be a
powerful weapon that Satan uses to divide people.
Misunderstandings come in many different forms...
such as: a look, a comment, failure to speak, etc.
Many quarrels are downright silly... not necessarily
because people are silly, but because the devil makes
fools of us and then sits there and laughs.
So, why do godly people quarrel?
The simple answer is... none of us are perfect,
and the devil is working night and day
to try and cause us to quarrel.
Is There A Pink Elephant
In The Living Room?
Many of the problems we face with one another stem from
having different perspectives and a lack of mutual
understanding of those perspectives. In order to get past this,
there needs to be clear understanding on both
sides. We should first try to understand the other person’s
perspective. One way of accomplishing this is by
paying attention and genuinely trying to understand their
concerns. Pretending to listen while dismissing what
they say in your heads will only add insult to the injury.
Quarrels can cause division... they can separate us. Satan is very
divisive, and one of the oldest tricks in
the book is to... "Divide and conquer."
From a Biblical perspective we know that no one is
perfect; yet, we are so quick to misconstrue a single
action to the detriment of our very soul.
More often than not, we are the prosecutor, judge, and
jury when we think that another Believer has
committed a wrong toward us.
Some quarrels arise because people complain
that others are not doing... what "THEY" are doing.
Jesus compared people to children
playing in the street and demanding that others should do as they did...
dance when they danced... and mourn when they mourned (Matthew11:16,17).
In other words,
we think that what we do is the right thing
and how we do it is the right way,
and anyone who does it differently from us is wrong!...
Is that right?
Controlling people are everywhere. We see them at work, social gatherings, in our family
and in personal relationships. Controlling people can have a much bigger impact than they should.
Controlling people often assume that they understand how another thinks, even when they actually don't.
where, how, and why of others? All of us have to admit that we have no sure way of knowing what is going
on inside anothers’ mind. Controlling people may become frustrated because their constructed image of
another is at odds with what the other person consistently says and who that other person really is.
Even when we think our intention is pure and good, there may be things there... that we're
unable to see. If we see this, we can be teachable ourselves and merciful to others.
People so easily get caught up in quarrels even without really understanding what they're quarreling about!
This is especially true when we have a prejudice towards someone. Then whatever he or she says or does is
seen in a bad light.
Some people can rage on and on even when the other party does not respond in kind, but it takes two
people to quarrel. Perhaps it's more correct to say that if one man tries to quarrel and the other man doesn't
respond in a similar way the quarrel will lack the necessary fuel to get fanned up. "Without wood a fire goes
out; without gossip a quarrel dies down" (Proverbs 26:20). The more mature we are... the more we can help in
bringing peace by responding in a gentle and merciful manner. "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a
harsh word stirs up anger" (Proverbs 15:1). "When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, there
will be ranting and ridicule and no satisfaction" (Proverbs 29:9).
One of the greatest reasons we have for quarrels is that it is extremely difficult for us humans to see our own
faults. When we deal with others we see their faults, but hardly any of our own. If only we could see our own
faults, and stop getting worked up about the faults of others!
The bottom line is... only God has the right to judge. He knows everything about us. He knows what we've
done, and what we've not done. God knows the particular handicaps each of us lives with, the specific
temptations we find difficult, our special tendencies, the strengths He has given us, and the damage the devil
has caused us.
The one who has seen himself in God’s light becomes a different person. He loses confidence in his own
assessment of things and becomes slow in passing opinions. He recognizes that there could be other ways of
looking at things and other ways of doing things than what he is used to. He tries to put himself in other
people’s shoes to understand how they feel. "Do to others as you would have them do to you" (Luke 6:31). He
makes room for the others to be different from him.
The devil loves to see us quarreling with one another. He's the one whispering into our ears about what the
other person is like... and why he or she is doing... or not doing something. Let us not be gullible before
When we have difficulties with others... let us remember that we may have misunderstood the whole
situation. Also we can be merciful to others when we feel they've misunderstood us.
In the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, Jesus talks directly to His followers to tell us what our fellowship and
friendships are to be like. If a brother or sister in the faith hurts us, angers us, saddens us, or does us wrong in
any way…we are to go and talk to them about it directly, one on one. Not only does this manner of working
out difficulties lead to forgiveness, it also works things out in a graceful way. The talk can be done quietly…
lovingly... and gracefully.
One may ask... why is the matter to be first kept private between the two? Because our love for our brother
requires it. If we are sincerely committed to love for our brethren as Jesus commands (John 13:34), then even
if a brother has sinned against us or has done us wrong, we will not want to maliciously injure that brother's
credibility within the body — that might hinder his restoration. If this person's transgression against the
offended is circulated within the body, but later he repents, many in the body will have already judged this
brother and the accusations will have damaged their opinion of him. By spreading our accusation against an
offending party, it builds a consensus against them and makes it difficult, if not nearly impossible, to restore
that person to the body should they repent and desire to make things right. Also, many alleged trespasses
between brethren are a result of "misunderstandings."
We need to first investigate the facts and find out for sure whether a trespass has really occurred. This is
another reason why we're to first go privately to the brother or sister in question... to confront them with the
alleged offense and hear their side of the story. If we disclose the offense to friends in the body, we may later
discover that the matter was only a misunderstanding. But by then, their reputation will have been damaged
by our allegations.
When we make the mistake of telling a third party first… misunderstandings can fester, and souls may be
lost... and Satan triumphs. "An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate
friends like a gate locked with bars" (Proverbs 18:19). You think Satan doesn't know this?