Saturday, September 3, 2011

What did they Mean by That?

"What did they mean by that?"

Have you ever asked that question? Oh I hate it.  When someone says one thing and it could mean one of two or even three things. What did they mean by that?  I feel shallow even talking about this, but it happens so often and I've never heard anyone approach it in a biblical response. Have you even thought about that?

Yup, there is a biblical way to think about this. :)

Personally, I fear every time I open my mouth that someone is going to take the words that I say/type opposite of what they mean.  I personally crumble at the thought of EVER hurting someone's feelings. I would NEVER do it intentionally. 
If the Bible offends someone and it's deserved then, what do I say? That's God's Word, not me. If I interpret scripture wrong, I would pray that someone would call me out on it because as much as I fear hurting someone's feelings, I despise even more the thought of leading someone astray biblically. 

Ok, so I fear someone taking my words the wrong way. I would never hurt someone intentionally. I would not want someone to take my words, misquote them, and use them against me.  Ta Da! There's your biblical response. Simple? Do you see it yet? Do you see why I feel so shallow talking about this?

We should have learned this as a five year old in Sunday School. :)  But there are Actual Church Splits over that ONE STUPID SENTENCE, "Well, What Do You think they meant by that?"

Luke 6:31 Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.

It's so elementary and yet overlooked so often. If you don't want people to take your words the wrong way; when you get to that place of: "What did they mean by that?" Choose the best possible way it could be taken.

Even if their words were meant to be harsh - So What! They are not yours to contend with. God will contend with them.

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

It doesn't matter! What does matter however, is what you do with it. If you allow your presumptions to fester, which causes you to become angry or bitter, that matters.

Die to self. When I die to myself this little stuff no longer matters, (I'm not taking it lightly, harsh words hurt and leave lasting scars. But they are only allowed to become scars if you let them.) When I die to self,  I  am Dead. I'm no longer my own, but God's.  When I die to self, my thoughts, my desires, my feelings are dead, they belong to GOD. When they are surrendered to God, He takes care of them, and does with them as He wishes. 

Proverbs 15:31-33
He who listens to a life-giving rebuke, will be at home among the wise.
He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.
The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

A wise man will take any words, even the words of fools, to see if there is any truth in them, to see if there is anything in them that could be pointing out an area of unholiness in his own life. That's humility. Way too often we are too bull headed to even listen to accusations.

Accept that there's always a lot to learn, don't run from correction, cling to it!


  1. I think this is such good advice. I've spent years watching relationships get torn apart because people would take the more negative of two possible interpretations of something said and because of that, I try always to take the kinder interpretation. I'm not saying I always manage to do this, but I do make it my aim.

  2. Great reminder! I try to "believe the best about people." I try to say, "I know she didn't mean to hurt my feelings." So instead of blowing up, I blow out the hot air into nothingness. Carefully choosing my words is what I strive for. I pray that God will be the author of my words!;)

  3. Hi Melissa - I love how you say: When I die to myself this little stuff no longer matters. Its so true when we do this, the little stuff become - well - little stuff. Great post
    God bless

  4. Clinging to Him ... and letting go of the little stuff.

    A delight to meet you today. i hope you don't mind if I splash around a bit to get to know you. This looks like a refreshing place to dip my toes in God;s goodness.

    Be blessed bunches,

  5. This is what's sticking with me tonight: Die to self, and the little stuff ceases to matter. So much truth in that Melissa -- and that's a message I can't hear enough.

  6. I have a hard time letting things go, but I realized something that makes it easier to do is reading scripture. Reading His Word allows me to die to self because I know that I am giving it all to Him who always has my best interests in mind.

  7. Ack! I don't know if my other comment posted, so I'm going to repost just in case.

    Basically, what I said was that even though I have a hard time letting things go, if I go to scripture, I can more easily die to self because I know I am putting myself in the hands of someone who always has my best interests in mind.

  8. So, so true. It's hard to search the criticism to see if there's any truth in it. We will definitely grow from it.

  9. We would save ourselves and others so much heartache if we would just remember those two commandments: love and treat others as you would like to be treated!

  10. When I put my focus where it should be, this is much easier for me to do. I must admit, I have a natural tendency to second guess--to worry what others are thinking. BUt when I think about what God thinks...everything falls in place. I enjoyed this so much tonight!

  11. I am so blessed by you all. Sorry it has taken me so long to reply. Thank you so much for commenting and for your honesty. Yeah, this post frustrates me because it is such a simple, basic lesson of Christ's ministry and yet it has taken me 27 years to put those "Truths" together and make them applicable in my daily life. Thank you for your comments.

  12. I think that you nailed it when you said, "Die to Self". Seriously, when you can accomplish that--you can reallly be free. This was great and it would make for a great Lesson or Devotion :) Thank you for linking up!