I love a fun story, don’t you? I love to hear about funny things and I love to laugh.
My husband George and I have been married soon 61 years. We know each other pretty well. We have five children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
George said to me, “Why don’t we watch a movie this evening?” We’re usually both busy all the time, and watching a movie is not the most fun thing in the whole wide world for me.
I said, “You select it, and I will come and watch the movie with you.”
The principle of this story is don’t take people’s words apart from the spirit you know they are.
If you hear something that says, “Now, that doesn’t sound like something he would say, or she would say.” Your brain will go into an immediate mode of saying, “What in the world did he mean by that?”
George said, “I’ve got a great movie. You’re just going to love it.”
I said, “Oh, what’s the name of it?”
He said, “‘The Exorcist.'”
What? I was amazed. I couldn’t believe that he said that. He was so excited about it.
He asked me to join him in the media room. I sat down. I saw a scene of magicians gathered speaking in a strange language and it looked gruesome.
I said, “George, there is no way, I can’t believe that you’re wanting to watch, ‘The Exorcist.'”
He said, “Watch, ‘The Exorcist?’ I invited you to come watch ‘The Exodus,’ with me. This is the story of Moses leading the Jewish nation out of Egyptian captivity. You’ll love this story, it’s a wonderful story.”
I apologized to him. I said, “I couldn’t believe that you had said such a thing.”
He said, “Well, why would you think that of me? Why would you believe that of me?”
Many times, we hear things and you get your feelings hurt.
Due to circumstances and situations going on in your life, you’ll say, “He just said the meanest thing to me, or she said this.”
One time I was in a restaurant. The young man waiting on me was very formal. We had a big party of people that were together. I’m an outgoing, friendly person. I put my hand on his shoulder and touched his arm, and asked, “How are you today?”
He pulled back and said, “You have assaulted me.” I didn’t quite know what to do or how to respond to him at that time. One of my friends jumped up and made a big joke out of it.
Prior to going to that restaurant, we had been praying over the land. We used salt to dedicate and consecrate the land. My friend, who was at the restaurant with me, had some salt with her. She threw some salt at the waiter and said, “Now you’ve been assaulted.”
She started dancing around the room and throwing salt in this restaurant. I thought, “We’re all going to jail now. It was unbelievable. We had a party of about 20 people that had come in for dinner.
The guy that owned the place came in. He thought we were a traveling comedy act. And he said, “I’ve got a bar down the road. I’d like to hire your group to go out and really stir people up. You’ve brought so much joy into the restaurant. You guys are funny as can be.”
Be careful how you hear a thing.
We said, “Sir, it’s not what you think.”
I said, “Actually, we are a group of Christians that came into this city, and we are praying for it.”
He said, “You’re praying for the city? I own a house of prostitution and I own bars.” He told us what he owned and the life that he lived.
Watch how all of this works out. I said, “Well sir, the simplicity of the gospel is just that Jesus loves you, that’s all, that’s the only message that I’ve got here.”
He looked at me and said, “You just heard what I told you and what I do for a living.”
I said, “But you know what? You didn’t hear what I told you, Jesus loves you. Don’t take my words apart from my spirit. I’m just here, I’m not here to make a judgment of you.”
Within five minutes, that man said to me, “Do you know I was a Roman Catholic priest? I left the priesthood. I’ve turned my life over to debauchery. I was just thinking, ‘Is there anybody that cares about my soul?'”
One little misunderstanding, and then I had the opportunity to pray with that man for him to give his life back to Jesus.
The purpose of my conversation with you today is to encourage you to be ready to give an answer, not to take yourself so seriously all the time. God’s a happy God.
God was happy about that gentleman. In the midst of all of the controversy that was going on, where the devil had meant evil, obviously God meant good.
I believe when you go out with good intentions, of course, the devil is going to do all that he can to make people see you differently than what you are.
We are called of God to reach out.
“By this shall all men know that you’re my disciples.” Love one another.” And love doesn’t just sit there and say, “If you don’t do what I do, and you don’t act like I do, you’re not entitled to the love.”
The misunderstanding that I had of my sweet husband, knowing him, and knowing that he’s not a man that would be watching a movie that would be an X-rated movie, or something that would be diabolical. Yet I heard with my ears, and I immediately came to a decision that I shouldn’t have come to. I should have asked him, “I must have misunderstood you.”
Take the time, rather than taking people’s words, getting angry, and getting your feelings hurt about it.
Communicate clearly, ask questions if needed, and laugh more often.