In my “profession” where I teach, preach, and write, there are ample opportunities for me to say things that hurt other people. Of course hurting others is only one facet to a huge diamond. I can also be very easily misunderstood. I can be taken out of context. I can be generalized, which means, people can sometimes feel that what I say applies to “all” of a particular group, when I didn’t mean that at all. If I thought long enough about it, I could come up with a few more items on that list.
I can recall my mother saying things like, “I know you better than you know yourself.” She did this partially because it was somewhat true. She also was wrong many times about that–not that I was allowed to say that she was. When parents say those kinds of things, they too generalize and make all kinds of assumptions. Sometimes they get it right, but more often than not, the simply have misunderstood. The point here is to not make any assumptions about what another person might say.
How do you deal with misunderstandings? Are you easily offended by others? If so, why so? If not, why not?
I think we would do ourselves a big favor if we could practice discipline in the choices we make as to what we will and will not allow to offend us. After all, when we allow others to control our thinking to the point that we get easily hurt by things they say, we are basically giving control of our thinking and actions to everyone who is around us.
What are some thoughts you might add to this conversation?
Scriptures to think about: 1 Corinthians 13:5, Proverbs 11:12, Matthew 18:15-17, Colossians 3:13