Misunderstandings, regardless 


of their cause, can seriously harm 


relationships if they are not 


addressed promptly.

The longer we wait to address a misunderstanding,


 the more difficult it is to resolve. If we don't


 clear up our misunderstandings in a timely


 manner, they may become the justification for 


future distance.

Misunderstandings are common and usually


harmless, but they can create friction


 and disputes. 



Perhaps someone misunderstood what we said 


and is now upset with us. Perhaps they heard


 our comments perfectly, but misinterpreted them. 


Or perhaps they misinterpreted our silence in a 


way that contradicted the message we were trying 


to convey.

I  appeal to you, brothers, 


to watch out for those who cause divisions


 and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine 


that you have been taught;


 avoid them.


Proverbs 6:16-19


We may try to appear to others in a certain way, 


but most people see us in a completely different light. 


This is one of the most fundamental issues facing


 humanity.



People are frequently unaware that they are not 


coming across as they believe they are.


There can be a significant difference between


 how others perceive us and how we perceive 


ourselves.


Is There A Pink Elephant

 
In The Living Room?

Misunderstandings and differences of opinion 


occur even among the best of us; however, if not 


addressed quickly and effectively, they can 


lead to serious confrontations and/or the 


destruction of relationships.



Misunderstandings can take many forms, such


 as a quick look, a comment that someone 


thought they heard and now angry about. It 


could have been a failure to communicate, 


or a failure to comprehend or see another's


point of view.



We may react angrily to relatively innocent 


statements, because another voice in our head


is speaking to us.

Miscommunications are common in social conflicts.


Conflicting parties communicate with one another 


through what they say, do, or do not say, as well as 


their actions toward one another.



Even normal conversations can result in


 misunderstandings, but misunderstandings appear 


to exacerbate the problem.



When two people disagree, it is common for them 


to make negative assumptions about "the other."


 As a result, a comment that appeared innocent when


 two people were friends may appear aggressive 


or threatening when the same people disagree.


Misinterpretations result in accusations and


 conflicts, which eventually leads to war. The 


sender has a message they want to deliver and 


puts it in terms that best express what they are 


thinking, but a variety of factors can occur to 


prevent the intended message from being


correctly received.


Satan is a master at causing misunderstandings.

Satan will take our words out of the air, twist 


them sinisterly, and hurl them at their intended 


target... there will be no clear communication... 


the original message will be unrecognizable.

It would be naive to believe that when there is 


confusion, temptation, division, accusations,


 misunderstandings, and lies... Satan and his 


diabolical wrecking crew are not on the scene 


wreaking havoc with their voices of 


condemnation.

Every way of a man is right in his 

own eyes, but God ponders the heart.

Proverbs 21:2

Only God knows what’s in our hearts, but He 


would be happy to tell us if we asked.



We gain an understanding of what motivates others


 when we listen to their viewpoints with an open mind, 


and this breeds mutual respect, even if we don't 


agree in the end.

Taking matters into our own hands before 


seeking God's guidance in pursuing righteous


 behavior can have disastrous consequences


 for everyone.



We often speak up before our brains can

 send a cease and desist order to our tongues...

 and we almost always come to regret it.

Once we say something, there is no way to 


get it back…we can’t recall it… it's out there. 



It's easy to let our emotions run wild at times, 


especially when there is turmoil and uncertainty.


We are quick to anger and speak... but slow to


 truly listen to the perspective of another. As a 


result, we let our frustrations permeate our 


conversations, and before you know it, 


it's all over social media!


 Once our words are in the air, Satan, the 


"prince of the air," uses those powerful 


weapons against us. Satan knows exactly 


how to agitate the situation.



Satan, our adversary, tries to overwhelm us


 with his illogical, accusing spirit. His power


 over the receivers could cause major squabbles!




Misunderstandings are a powerful tool that Satan


can use to divide people. Many quarrels are 


frivolous... not because people are frivolous, 


but because Satan attempts to pit us against each


 other.

The devil's favorite tactic is to


 stir the pot and create confusion.



"The thief's sole purpose



 is to steal, kill, and destroy."




Satan wields power over some people; he is a 


corrupting force that intentionally causes pain,


 harm, and danger. He spreads misinformation


in order to enrage others! He will instigate


 people to destroy and/or murder one another.



He is both clever and divisive.


The enemy, Satan, wishes to gain access to our 


minds and hearts, as well as a stronghold in our 


affairs, in order to keep people divided through


 exaggerated misunderstandings. He enjoys


 watching miscommunications turn into gossip,


 jealousy, envy, greed, and various ideological 


and religious conflicts.

Satan wishes to have complete control over 


people's lives. He convinces willing spirits of 


what and how they should think. Satan positions 


himself to appeal to or appease both the left and 


right wing. He will employ deceptive power 


tactics and purposefully mischaracterize people in 


order to murder the spirit, kill the truth, assassinate 


one's character, or outright murder another.



Satan is an evil liar and instigator. He feeds on 


other people's negative energy. He is poisonous,


emotionally destructive, and cunning enough to


 pretend to take people where he wants them to go 


while tricking them into thinking they are steering


 themselves.



The devil is a skilled agitator. He is notorious 


for tearing families apart and severing the ties 


that hold them together. He clearly enjoys inciting


 strife and hostility... creating fights and tearing 


apart close family and communities.



He enjoys making other people look like idiots


 and then laughing at them. Satan enjoys stirring


 the pot by repeatedly pressing the replay button.


Return to James 1:20. "Be slow to become angry,


" the author advises, "since human indignation 


does not produce the righteousness that 


God seeks."


We all become annoyed. However, we are less


 inclined to say anything that is harmful to a


 relationship... if we allow ourselves time to cool


 off before responding.


These things actually require intention. 



We have to determine ahead of time whether



 or not to do them.


We must guard ourselves against anyone


 who is an instigating false witness.We must 


be cautious of anyone who encourages false 


testimony. We should also keep our tongues 


from moving faster than our minds. Let us


 remember that various people interpret different 


figures of speech.


But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them

 that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and

 pray for them which despitefully use you, and 

persecute you.

Matthew 5:44
Being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow


 to anger makes for a peaceful existence.


We are engaged in an invisible spiritual battle 


with a cruel enemy. He is shrewd, crafty,


cunning, rude, controlling, subtle, 


malicious, and dangerous. 


Satan is a real enemy who prowls the earth


 looking for someone to devour.



He is evil and will go to any length to gain 


new territory so that he can have a profound 


influence on the human sphere by leading 


God's people astray.



So, why do godly people quarrel?



The simple truth is that none of us are perfect,


 and the devil works around the clock to cause us to


 quarrel and even have people fighting, killing, 


and bathing in their own blood... that's Satan's


 job, and he works... nonstop.

The devil enjoys watching us argue with one 


another. He's the one who tells us what the other


 person is like... and why he or she does... or 


doesn't do... something.


Let us not be duped by Satan!

Many of our disagreements stem from different 


points of view and a lack of mutual understanding 


of those points of view.



To move forward, both parties must have a clear


 understanding. First, we should try to understand 


the other person's perspective.



One method is to pay attention and sincerely 


attempt to understand their concerns.


Pretending to listen while dismissing what they


 say in our heads will exacerbate the situation. 


Quarrels have the power to divide and separate 


us.


Satan is a highly divisive being, and one of his 


oldest tactics is to... 


"divide and conquer."



Satan realizes that if he can keep us divided, 


he can keep us in a constant state of conflict.

From a Biblical standpoint, we recognize


 that no one is perfect; however, we are 


so quick to misunderstand a single action to


 the detriment of our very soul.

When we believe that someone has committed


 a wrong toward us, we frequently play the role 


of prosecutor, judge, and jury.



Some disagreements occur when people 


complain that others are not doing... what "they" 


are doing.


Jesus likened people to children playing in


 the street, demanding that others should do 


as they did... dance when they danced... and 


mourn when they mourned.



Matthew11:16,17

To put it another way, what people see in others 


reflects the unconscious aspects of themselves 


that their ego is either unaware of or unwilling 


to acknowledge.



Some people believe that what they do and how 


they do it is correct and that everyone else is 


wrong!


Is that right?


Controlling people, who suppress and oppress


others, can be found everywhere. 


They are present at work, social gatherings, our 


families, and our personal relationships. In far 


too many cases, controlling people can have a 


much bigger impact than they should.



Controlling individuals frequently believe they 


understand how others think, even when they 


do not.



If we can't fully comprehend ourselves, how 


can we expect to comprehend the who, what, 


when, where, how, and why of others?



We must all agree that we have no means of 


understanding what is going on inside another 


person's head.



Controlling people may grow frustrated when


 their constructed image of another contradicts


 what the other person constantly says and who


 the other person truly is.



Even though we believe our intentions are pure 


and good, there may be things there... that we 


cannot see. We can be teachable and merciful 


to others if we recognize this.


People are so easily drawn into fights, even when 


they have no idea what they're fighting about! This


 is especially true when we have a prejudice against


 someone. Everything he or she says or does is then


 viewed negatively.



Some people can rant for hours if the other party does 


not respond, but it takes two to argue. Perhaps it is 


more accurate to say that if one man attempts to


quarrel and the other man does not respond in kind, 


the quarrel will lack the necessary fuel to be 


fanned up.

The more spiritually mature we are... the more we 


can contribute to peace by responding with gentleness 


and mercy.

"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 most important considerations for


 disagreements is that it is extremely difficult 


for us humans to recognize our own imperfections.



We notice other people's faults but rarely our own 


when we interact with people. If only we could see


 our own flaws instead of focusing on the flaws of 


others!



In the end, only God has the authority to pass 


judgment. God is aware of every detail about us.


God knows what we have and have not done.



God is aware of each of our specific handicaps, the


 specific temptations that we find difficult, our 


unique tendencies, the strengths He has given us, 


and the harm that the devil has caused us.

The individual who has seen himself in


 God's light becomes transformed. He loses


confidence in his own judgment and becomes 


slow in passing opinions and judgments.



He knows that there may be different ways 


of looking at things and doing things than


 what he is accustomed to. He strives to put


 himself in the shoes of others in order to 


understand how they feel.

 

May we always remember 


and never forget...

When we disagree with others, remember that 


we may have misread the entire situation.


We can also be gracious to others when we 


believe they have misunderstood us.



Jesus addresses His disciples personally in the 


eighteenth chapter of Matthew, describing the


 nature of our company and friendships.



If a God-fearing (Believer) brother or sister 


offends, angers, saddens, or wrongs us in any way, 


we are to confront them personally, one on one.



This method of problem resolution not only leads 


to forgiveness, but it also gracefully resolves issues.



The conversation can be conducted quietly, lovingly,


 and gracefully.

One could wonder why the subject is to be kept


 private between the two at first. Because our


 affection for our brother/sister necessitates it.


If we are really devoted to loving our brethren


 as Jesus commands (John 13:34), then even if a 


brother has sinned against us or wronged us, we 


will not want to purposefully harm that brother's


 credibility within the body... which could 


impede his restoration.



If this person's violation against the offended


 is spread throughout the body, although he later 


repents, many in the body will have already


judged this brother, and the allegations will 


have harmed their opinion of him.


By spreading our allegations against an offender, 


we create a consensus against them, making it 


difficult, if not almost impossible, to restore that


 person to the body if they repent and want to put 


things right.



Furthermore, many alleged trespasses are the 


consequence of "misunderstandings."

We must first examine the facts to determine 


whether or not a trespass has occurred.


This is another reason why we must first... go 


privately to the accused brother or sister... to 


confront them with the alleged crime and hear 


their side of the story.



If we tell our friends in the body about the offense, 


we may subsequently realize that it was all a


misunderstanding. But by then, our allegations


 will have harmed their reputation.

When we make the mistake of 


telling a third party first,


misunderstandings can emerge,


 souls may be lost, and Satan wins.

Let us endeavor to understand Satan's accusing 


nature and history, the evil one, the first con man.


Satan is constantly on the lookout for ways to sell


 us something he knows he will never be able to


provide.



Satan continues to deceive people by claiming 


that if they follow his lead... they will be happy or


 whatever else they want to hear.

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