I hate misunderstandings. Perhaps that is why I have been such a faithful student of Myers-Briggs Type for so long. I want everyone to understand everyone. A great book to read on Myers-Briggs types is actually called Please Understand Me. As a middle child, I find it natural to play the role of mediator and peacemaker. As an ENFJ personality type, the drive to facilitate good communication and harmonious relationships magnifies that role exponentially!
About two years ago, I saw my tendency to communicate on the behalf of others displayed in full color. During a weekend visit my sister and brother-in-law, my mother and I enjoyed spending some time with my niece, who was about two years old at the time. Although very verbally advanced for her age, she occasionally had trouble communicating her needs. Even though she was very skilled at letting you know what she wanted, without a full vocabulary, she still struggled from time to time. Anytime I thought I knew what she wanted, I intervened quickly to explain her desires to whomever was listening. My niece, would then happily receive what she wanted, and I would receive heroine status, which is what I wanted!
On the last night of our visit, while my sister was reading my niece a book, she was suddenly interrupted midway through the story. Coming to her aid, my brother-in-law stepped in and started reading the book from the very beginning (instead of where my sister had left off). My niece, not knowing how to tell him exactly where to continue reading, closed her eyes and covered her ears with her hands and yelled, “Mauuurnie!!!” She wanted her Aunt Marnie to communicate for her once again, which I did, happily and promptly, barely holding back laughter!
One of the many remarkable things to me about Jesus was His ability to keep silent during His trial before His crucifixion. The injustice and misunderstanding of it all would have been some of the worst kind of torture imaginable for me.
“He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.”Isaiah 53:7 (ESV)
“Then Pilate said to him, ‘Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?’ But He gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.”Matthew 27:13-14 (ESV)
Jesus took our sins, allowed Himself to be falsely accused and utterly misunderstood. The onlookers surely thought He was getting what He deserved.
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.”Isaiah 53:4 (ESV)
Jesus, who was innocent, kept silent during His trial and even asked His Father to forgive those who misunderstood.
“And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ And they cast lots to divide his garments.”Luke 23:34 (ESV)
The apparent misunderstanding was the plan from the beginning of time. The King of the Universe allowed Himself to be falsely accused and mocked while He prayed for His abusers.
Dear Jesus, Thank You for enduring the worst kind of misunderstanding on my behalf so I can enjoy being totally loved and understood by You.
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