When You’re Misunderstood…

Stand Tall by Holley Gerth

If you try to do anything worthwhile in this life–love, pursue a dream, grow–then at some point you will be misunderstood. And if you try to live in a way where everyone understands you all the time then you will not stand for anything.

Why, we wonder, at the very moment when I’m saying “yes” to what God has called me to do would this happen? And I think one part of the answer is that when we are in Christ we are a new creation. That means who God has transformed you into has never before been seen in this world. And anytime someone sees something brand new they scratch their heads a bit. In other words, they misunderstand.

When that happens they’re likely to tell us we’re “too much” or “not enough” or that we should change this or that. Listen, friend, if you have leaned in hard to Jesus and learned this is who he wants you to be then don’t listen to those other voices. Because whatever they’re saying is a way to fit you into a box or category or tradition that already exists. And the whole point is that God wants to do something new through you.

Even knowing that, being misunderstood is painful. Someone once asked me, “What’s one of your worst fears in what you do?” And I answered, “That someone would misunderstand my heart.” And it happens from time to time so I’ve had to learn how to respond when it does. I’ll tell you first what I don’t do: Close the doors of my heart. That would be the easiest, safest, and least painful {at least in the short-term} choice. But for the God who stretched his arms out wide on a cross in the ultimate position of heart-opening that sure doesn’t seem like what I’m asked to do.

So instead…

I tell God, “Wow, this really hurts. What do you have to say about this?”

I go to the sources I do really trust–His Word and the safe people in my life.  And with those people I ask two things: First, “Will you pray for me?” and second “Is there any truth in this?”

Then depending on the relationship I have with the person who misunderstood me, I either have a heart-to-heart conversation with them or I make any adjustments God and the safe people in my life have revealed are needed then keep going in what I’m called to do. I said in my post on Friday “Love is the most powerful weapon and the only one that heals instead of wounds.” The way you live can speaks louder than any words you might use to defend yourself.

If you let the fear of being misunderstood overcome you then you will sit down in your life so that no one will see you, you won’t be noticed, you won’t be hurt. But if you take “stand” out of misunderstand then all you’re left with is “mis.”

You will miss your purpose in this life.

You will miss opportunities to love.

You will miss some of the pain, yes, but you will also miss so many beautiful adventures with Jesus.

So live in love, friend, especially when you’re misunderstood. And no matter what happens, continue to stand.



p.s. Fabulous sale alert: You’re Made for a God-sized Dream {ebook version} is only 3.99 on Amazon right now–almost 75% off! Woo-hoo!


About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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