Everyone has times when they feel alone and like no one understands their situation or their life. This can especially be the case for believers. Since our relationship with God is personal on most levels and corporate on a smaller level, there is a lot of room for misunderstanding.
We look to God for guidance in our lives. Guidance for all the responsibilities we hold, the relationships we have, and for the calling He has placed on our lives. While we are busy doing this, we can lose our focus on what others are thinking at times, or what societal protocols demand. Thus we have placed ourselves outside the bounds of what many in the world—and unfortunately also in the church—call normal.
But God never promised the path we travel will be densely populated or popular. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 1:18 Paul says that the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing. And Jesus declared in Matthew 7:14 that the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
These verses help us cope with and reason away the misunderstandings between ourselves and unbelievers, but when it happens within the church, we take it a little more seriously. We find it harder to dismiss, and we might even take offense.
Obviously taking offense doesn’t help, so what do we do when these disappointments come our way?
I think it is important to note that we need to be open to taking correction first of all. God’s correction can come through people, whether we like it or not. It takes a humble person to take correction from a fellow human with flaws of their own.
Of course there are also times when our fellow saints are just plain wrong and simply do not understand what is going on between ourselves and God. If we are honest with ourselves, we will usually know the difference between these two instances.
The best we can do is make the call with an honest heart and act accordingly. If we are wrong, we need to repent. If not, then we need to stay true to God and what He is doing in our lives. Not everyone is going to understand the things we do if we are led by the Spirit. The following verse makes my case:
John 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.
Since we know these things, the best we can do is be considerate of other people’s walk with God, and not expect it to fit some preconceived notion we have. And to the ones who do not understand our walk, or our calling, we can do as Jesus did: ask God to forgive them for they know not what they do.