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 might try to come across in a certain way 


to others, but people often perceive us in an 


altogether different way. This is one of the 


primary issues of being human.



Most of the time, people don’t realize they are


 not coming across the way they think they are. 


There is sometimes a big breach between how 


other people see us and how we see ourselves.


Is There A Pink Elephant

 
In The Living Room?

Misunderstandings and differences of opinion 


happen amongst the best of us; however, they 


can create major conflicts and/or damage 


relationships if not squashed immediately


 and effectively.



Misunderstandings come in many different 


forms... such as: a look, a comment someone 


thought they heard someone make, and now 


they are angry. It could have been a failure


 to speak or perhaps someone could not 


comprehend or see another's vision.


Sometimes, we react angrily to innocent


 comments because we’re hearing another


 voice in our heads.



Social conflicts often involve some 


misunderstanding. Parties in conflicts 


communicate by what they say, do, or


not say, and how they behave toward 


each other. Even normal interaction may 


involve faulty communication, but 


conflicts seems to worsen the problem. 


When two people are in conflict, they 


often make negative assumptions about


 "the other." Consequently, a statement 


that might have seemed innocuous when 


two parties were friends might seem 


hostile or threatening when the same 


parties are in conflict.



Perhaps someone misheard something 


you said, and now they are angry with you. 


Perhaps they heard your words correctly


 but comprehended them in a manner that 


did not align with your intent. Or perhaps 


they interpreted your silence in a way that 


was inconsistent with the message you 


wanted to send



It would be naive to think that when we


have Spiritual emergencies and there is 


confusion, temptation, division, 


accusations, misunderstandings, and lies... 


that Satan and his diabolical destroying


 agency, with their voices of


condemnation... are not on the scene


trying to wreak havoc.



Satan is a master craftsman of misunderstandings.

 

Satan will snatch our words out of the air and put 


an evil spin on them, and hurl them to their intended 


target, with his foul distorted twist... there is no 


clear communication... the original message is 


unrecognizable.



Misinterpretations turn into accusations and


 arguments, and triggers war! The sender has a 


message they intend to transmit, and they put it in 


words, which, to them, best reflect what they are 


thinking, but many things can intervene to prevent 


the intended message from being received 


accurately.


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 more than glad to tell us if we 

would ask.


When we listen to others’ opinions with an 


open mind, we gain an understanding of what 


motivates them. And that breeds mutual


 respect, even if we don’t agree in the end.

Many times we speak up before 

our brains can get the cease and

 desist order to our tongues. And

 we usually regret it. 

Once words are out of our mouths, there’s no


way to recall them... they are out there, they cannot 


be taken back. Sometimes, especially in times of 


unrest and uncertainty, it is easy to allow our 


emotions to flare up. We are quick to anger and 


speak... and slow to really listen to another's 


perspective. As a result, we let our frustrations 


become a part of our conversations and before 


you know it... it is on social media. 



Taking matters into our own hands, before asking 


God to help us to pursue right behaviorcan be 


very disastroufor everyone. Once those words 


are vented in the air, the "prince of the air," 


Satan... uses those powerful weapons against


 us. Satan knows just what to do to stir the pot. 



Satan, the adversary, tries to overwhelm us 


with his irrational, accusing spirit. His influence


 on the recipients could create major conflicts! 



Misunderstandings can be a powerful weapon


 that Satan uses to divide people. Many quarrels


are foolish... not necessarily because people are 


foolish, but because Satan will pit us against 


each other. 



 One of the devil’s favorite tricks is...


stirring the pot... causing misunderstandings. 



“The thief comes only to steal,


kill, and destroy."



Satan has power over some people; it is a 

corrupting influence that deliberately stirs up 

trouble. He uses hearsay to set others off! He 

will make people destroy and/or kill each other. 

He is cunning and extremely divisive. 


Satan, the enemy, wants to access our minds and

hearts and get a foothold in our affairs so that he 

can keep people separated by misunderstandings, 

blown way out of proportion. He loves to see 

misunderstandings snowball into gossip,

jealousy, envy, greed, all kinds of dogma and

 religious issues. 

Satan wants to control all aspects of people's lives.


 He tells willing souls what to think and how to 


think. Satan positions himself in such a way as to 


appeal to or appease both left-wing and right-wing


 standpoints. He will use devious power-plays and


 purposely mis-characterize others in an attempt to


 kill the spirit, kill the truth, assassinate one's 


character or outright kill another. 



Satan is a diabolical liar and instigator. He thrives 


on the negative energies of others. He is poisonous, 


emotionally destructive and so subtle that he will 


pretend to kindly guide people where he wants


 them to go and have people thinking that they 


are guiding themselves. 



The devil is a well rehearsed agitator. He is 


notorious for driving a wedge between and 


severing ties that bind families. He loves 


causing blow-outs and separating close 


friends and communities, and seems to 


have a great time inciting violence. 



He loves trying to make fools of people and 


then he sits back and laughs. Satan loves to stir 


the pot by constantly hitting the replay button. 

Back to James 1:20 The writer tells us to be 

“Slow to become angry because human anger 

does not produce the righteousness that God 

desires.”

We all get angry. But if we make it a habit to


 cool off before we respond, we are less likely


 to say something that damages a relationship. 


All of these things require intention. We have 


to determine ahead of time to do them.


We must guard ourselves against anyone who is 


an instigating false witness. We should also make 


sure that our mouths don't move faster than our 


brains. Let us be reminded: certain figures of 


speech may mean different things to different 


people.


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


 to anger makes for a peaceful existence.


We are in an invisible spiritual battle 


with a cruel enemy. He is crafty,


cunning, rude, controlling, subtle, 


malicious, and dangerous. 



Satan is a real enemy who prowls 


around seeking someone to devour. 


He is evil and will stop at nothing to


gain new ground so that he can 


profoundly influence the human 


sphere by leading God's people astray. 




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 


and even have people fighting, killing 


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


 Satan's job and he is working... 


non-stop.

Many of the problems we face with one another


 stems 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 our 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."


Satan knows that he can keep us in 


a perpetual state of conflict... as long


as he can keep us divided.


One of the biggest threats


 to Satan is God fearing people 


united... on one accord.


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  


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, what some may see in others


shadows the unconscious parts of themselves 


that their ego is not aware of or doesn't care 


to acknowledge



Some people think that what they do is the right


 thing and how they do it is the right way, and 


anyone who does it differently from them is 


wrong!...



Is that right?



Controlling people are everywhere. We 


see them at work, social gatherings, in our 


families and in personal relationships. In far 


too many instances, 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.



If we can't even understand ourselves fully,


 how can we think that we can understand 


the who, what, when, 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 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.

The more mature we are... the more we 


can help in bringing peace by responding 


in a gentle and merciful manner.

"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. 

May we always remember 


and never forget...

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 Satan!


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 accusations 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. 

Let us try to understand the accusing


 nature and history of Satan, the evil one,


 the first con man. 



Satan is always on the prowl trying to 


sell us a product that he knows he could


 never provide.



Satan continues to lie to people by 


promising them that if they follow his 


lead…they will be happy or whatever 


else they want to hear.


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