“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10

We’ve all been misunderstood from time to time. Our actions, while well-intentioned go awry, the outcomes we hoped to achieve fall short of expectations or even accomplish exactly the opposite of what we’d hoped.

Some of those actions can be real relationship breakers. In our homes we do what we think best of our kids only to realize we were way too harsh, or too easy. It happens at work when we make a business decision that, even when well thought out, and looking like it will benefit everyone, ends up hurting everyone instead. We try to help that person of the opposite sex and end up in a relationship that we never intended that destroys our reputation and shatters the faith and trust others had in us.

Great motives in no way guarantee great results.

So what do you do when you find yourself miles from where you’d hoped to be? When those who once stood by you and believed in you turn their backs on you. When the well intentioned decisions of your life have left your situation looking like a jig-saw puzzle scattered on the ground with no hope that all the pieces will be there or that you can ever put it together again.

You can ask for forgiveness. God will forgive instantly, people may never do so. Time heals lots of wounds so you can pick up where you left off and rebuild. Reality is, the consequences of your actions may change things forever.

But in the midst of your pain and struggle here’s a word of encouragement from the one that knows you better than you know yourself. Your heavenly Father knows. When others question your intentions, when others doubt your sincerity. He looks to the most inward parts of your soul, to the very depths of your heart and sees whether your motives are hypocritical or sincere. One author writes, “[the Lord sees] the most inward and remote parts, covered with fat, and out of sight: these are the seat of the affections; and the Lord tries these, whether they are towards him or not; and whether sincere or hypocritical.”

It works both ways of course. Eventually the lies and motives of those who have hurt you, or the hypocritical motives we’ve had, will come to light. But take comfort in the fact that even though your best intentioned plans may fail and the results accomplish the exact opposite of your intentions. Even when others refuse to believe you. Your Father knows. He knows you better than you know yourself and he’ll stand by you when others won’t. You can come to him for forgiveness and he’ll walk with you through the rebuilding that may be necessary.

PRAYER: Father, some days it seems like no matter what I try to do I’m misunderstood or mistrusted. Some of the things I’ve don have destroyed my relationship with others and damaged it with you. Forgive me for the time I’ve hurt you or others, Help me to rebuild where I can and learn from the rest. In your name, Amen.