‘make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace’ Ephesians 4:3
Have you ever wanted to take back the words you have said the minute they have come out of your mouth? As you hear yourself saying them, inside you are screaming ‘no, that’s not what I mean!’ You spend the next few minutes desperately trying to explain what you really meant and usually, an understanding of some sort is reached one way or another.
Maybe you’ve attempted an email or text exchange and the reply you received (or didn’t receive) leads to a misunderstanding. Sometimes this can be comical but sometimes, it can leave you frustrated, hurt or feeling misunderstood and there is not an easy way to resolve how it makes you feel. Even worse, you may have conversed with someone in one form or another and thought you understood each other. Later you hear from someone else or you can tell by a person’s behaviour toward you that there has been a misunderstanding! With so much going on in our world and our experiences of prolonged physical separation from each other, the opportunities for misunderstandings to take place increased.
We too often carry on in our everyday lives with misunderstandings between us. They can wreak havoc in our thought life, confidence level, friendships and relationships and they can also prevent us from properly taking up our place in the body of Christ. When we wrongly perceive someone’s words or actions or the truth in a situation has been distorted, the unity that we should experience as Christians in the body of Christ is disrupted.
Each of us is like a puzzle piece with a unique shape and picture, lovingly designed by our creator for a specific purpose. God sees how He designed us all to fit together and the beautiful picture we will make when we do, but sometimes, when we misunderstand each other, it keeps us like puzzle pieces still all jumbled together in the box.
God our Father sees and knows our human frailties, His heart breaks when he sees His children misunderstand one another, and his heart overflows with joy when we find a way to understand each other. With His grace and ‘perfect love [that]drives out fear’ 1 John 4:18, we can overcome the forces that work against us and work out how we all fit together to create the beautiful puzzle picture that God designed.
Let’s pray: Father God, help us to resolve our misunderstandings and keep the unity of your spirit as we proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. Amen