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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, January 12, 2018
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala

Rock & Refuge

When misunderstood
and misjudged

We should not be too surprised when we are misunderstood and misjudged by others. There are a million reasons why these can happen anytime, given the way we all are. But we should be ready to react properly when these things happen to us. Truth is, if we know how to, we can even take advantage of those occasions

We have to be clear about the following point. That we get misunderstood and misjudged by others does not give us the right to do the same to them. That would be following the discredited law of Talion. We should not respond to these situations simply on the impulse of our gut reactions. It would just make things worse.

We need to be calm and figure out what the most prudent way to react is. Very often, we need to pause and pray, bring matters in the presence of God, asking for his light and guidance. We have to learn how to hold our horses. What we cannot understand and handle, let's leave them in the hands of God who knows what to do with everything.

In the meantime, let us console ourselves with the thought that by being misunderstood and misjudged, we actually liken ourselves to Christ who suffered the most extreme case of being misunderstood and misjudged and who converted that predicament as our way of salvation. With him, we also will have a way out of this predicament.

That consideration would calm us down and help us avoid experiencing unnecessary anguish and dangerous bitterness. It would foster a spirit of sportsmanship such that setbacks like these would only sharpen our desire to play better, so to speak, and not to waste time brooding and entertaining bad thoughts and judgments.

There will always be precious lessons for us to learn when we are misunderstood and misjudged. Let's never forget that if certain bad things happen to us, it is because God at least allows them to happen. And if they happen, it is because God wants to convey something good, a saving message for us or that he wants us to derive something beneficial to us.

These occasions of being misunderstood and misjudged actually give us precious insights about our weaknesses and the weaknesses of others. They give a good picture of the fragile condition that we all are in. But at the same time we would also know that there is a way of handling this condition properly.

We have to be quick to go to God asking for light. We should avoid just getting stuck with our own devices. We are completely helpless before certain mysterious things in our life. Only in him can we have a good understanding of our situation, knowing why God allows it to happen. Only in him can we repeat St. Paul's words:

“We are pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” (2 Cor4,8-10)

Let's remember that as St. Paul said: “God works all things together for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8,28) So, the crucial thing to be and to do is to be with Christ and to follow his will, no matter what.

This should be our reaction whenever we are misunderstood and misjudged. This is not hard to do. We just have to practice it more often, because as they say, “practice makes perfect.”*

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