One day, when I was a young Pastor, I spoke on a particular Sunday about wholeness and emotional health through Christ and received, that afternoon, an email from a guest who attended that day that rattled me to the core. She said she was a professional counselor and could never attend a church that did not believe in the power of the counseling environment or that thought counseling was a waste of time. This rattled me because I deeply believe in the power of the counseling process and have encouraged hundreds of congregants and friends to pursue it - and have pursued it myself.
It hurt so bad to be so badly misunderstood.
On that Monday, I was whining to our Youth Pastor about my offense and how badly it affected me. He said, “Well, if you don’t want to be misunderstood or criticized, you better quit being a Pastor. In fact, you should probably quit being a Christian.”
Boom! He was right. And that was 1990!
Today it is even more accurate to state that, if you plan to follow Jesus closely and see the world the way He does, you are going to face criticism and be misunderstood.
Now some Christians are just mean jerks, and cry foul when they are criticized. I would criticize their attitude or approach as well, but it is true that even if you have great people skills and love all human beings, you will be criticized and misunderstood, like Jesus was.
So, don’t be a jerk. And don’t shy away from following Jesus closely and embracing His view of the world, even when you are misunderstood and criticized for it.