Written by Dawn Rutan
I got to thinking about how easy it is to generate misunderstandings and hurt feelings in our culture. We keep a mental list of slights against us—real or imagined, intentional or unintentional—and then we use those to justify mistreating others the way we think we’ve been mistreated. That’s now how the golden rule is supposed to work. “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12 ESV).
The thing is, the human race is notoriously poor at communicating clearly because we all make assumptions about what other people are thinking or saying. We have no way of answering all the questions and objections that run through another person’s mind. Whether it has to do with political or social issues, church leadership, office communication, or family relationships, people are going to be hurt along the way. And the more people who are involved in our lives, the higher the likelihood of miscommunication. (Living in Siberia is starting to sound appealing.)
It’s nice to know that God never misunderstands us, even when we don’t understand ourselves. He knows every thought and intent of our heart, and He loves us unconditionally in spite of all that He knows (Psalm 139). That’s not to say that we always understand Him since His thoughts are far outside our own understanding (Isaiah 55:8-9).
- When loved ones disappoint us, God’s arms are always wide open to us.
- When we feel forgotten or overlooked, God is still paying attention.
- When someone cuts us out of their life or unfriends us, God keeps holding on to us.
- When others are offended by our viewpoint, God affirms everything that is true.
- When we make mistakes and hurt others, God still loves us and cares for us.
Micca Campbell comments in An Untroubled Heart, “You may feel like you’re lost for good, but God knows where you are. You have not escaped His attention. The Father knows His children and calls them by name. Those who follow Him will find their way home and be welcomed with open arms. With a Father’s heart, God is waiting and watching from the front porch of heaven for your return.”
There are days when those welcoming arms seem like the only bright spot in an otherwise frustrating and fruitless day. God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued My faithfulness to you” (Jeremiah 31:3). “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (John 15:16). Sometimes that’s all you need to know.