By Love Transformed, by R.T. Kendall

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The Pain of Being Misunderstood

Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." —Mark 6:4

You have been misunderstood, and it hurts. You feel in your heart that you are right, but no one else thinks so. It is a very painful thing. In fact, I do not know that there is anything more painful, and if you want vindication, it is a very real desire. I suspect that there is no one who does not have something in their background, some area of his life where he has been misunderstood or hurt. He just wants to have his name cleared in the eyes of maybe one or two.

Here is the good news: God wants to vindicate us. Here is the bad news: it has to be done His way and in His time. A verse that confirms this is found in 1 Peter 5:6: "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."

There is no guarantee that vindication will come in this life. I personally have searched the Bible for an absolute promise that vindication will come earlier, and I think if there were one, I would have found it. God may do it: sometimes God will clear a man's name in advance of the judgment seat of Christ. That is His sovereign prerogative.

But He may want to continue using you while still letting some people question your service. You may have to live with that. Remember that Joseph was falsely accused of sexual advances to Potiphar's wife. Are you aware that Joseph's name never was cleared? The Bible does not say that his name was ever cleared, but God still went ahead and used him. No doubt Joseph would have wanted his name cleared. You may have a similar experience. But God might just want to use you and let this aspect be left as a sore spot in your life to keep you humble.

Our mind-set has to be that there is no promise of vindication in this life.

Excerpted from Meekness and Majesty (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1992, 2000).

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