I don’t like being misunderstood or mischaracterized.
I don’t like being given labels that don’t belong to me.
I don’t like wrong assumptions about who I am.
And, when these things occur, I definitely don’t like it when I can’t correct them.
Yet, all of the above are increasingly occurring in my life.
I don’t know whether it’s the people pleaser or the control freak (or both) in me that feels unsettled when I know people have the wrong impression of me, of my intentions, of my beliefs. All I know is that I struggle when it is obviously happening and I can’t fix it.
Sitting and drinking coffee with a dear friend this week, I walked through a particularly difficult situation where this occurred. She listened to me ramble (like the wonderful person she is) as I talked, and then she gave a simple answer:
“God knows your motivations, even if they don’t.”
And that sentence has been running through my head ever since.
It’s a simple truth, but I needed to be reminded that of course our all-knowing Father would know what’s actually going on in my heart and mind. Of course He knows my personality and my life. Of course He knows me as I actually am, not how I am perceived.
Psalm 139 speaks well of this:
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. (vs. 2-4)”
When we step into the truth that God KNOWS us, the weight of others’ perception falls off our shoulders. I am accountable to God for my heart, my ways, my life, my thoughts – not what they choose to think about me.
My friends, I hope you’ll be as encouraged as I was by the words of my friend. Even if the whole world misunderstood you, God would still know exactly who you are. That is a comfort to hold tightly.