About the Author

Karina Allen is devoted to helping women live out their unique calling and building authentic community through the practical application of Scripture in an approachable, winsome manner.

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  1. Karina,
    Over the years, I have really had to strengthen my self discipline to hear people out. I, too, get easily offended – maybe because I tend to be a very sensitive person – but I used to be mentally preparing my rebuttal instead of really listening to what the other person was saying. Holding my tongue was like doing twenty push ups. Listening, however, and hearing someone out does not always mean that the other person is 100% right and I’m 100% wrong. Usually it’s somewhere in the middle. Furthermore, I have had to toughen my shell and pray to forgive others because, let’s face it, people say and write stupid and uncaring things. We’re all human and I’ve learned that many things that come out of others mouths are neither edifying nor helpful. Many have their own ax to grind and I don’t always have to be the grinding stone. That’s where praying for wisdom from God comes in. Asking HIM what I should take in and what I should throw out?? Ultimately, I report to Him and get my marching orders from Him. He knows best what I need. Love your wisdom, Karina.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  2. Wow, thanks for sharing that painful situation of having been misunderstood. It takes so much self-control not to launch into self-defense, and as the Apostle Paul and his colleagues sat moldering in Roman jails, they must have felt intensely misunderstood as well, and yet they put all their hope for their defense in the just mercy of God.
    I can explain myself blue in the face sometimes, and as I see a conversational train heading down the rails of misunderstanding, the knot in my stomach tightens. Thanks, Karina, for your strong argument in favor of leaving outcomes in the hands of God and of letting the conflict serve as sand paper on our character.

    • Thank you Michele! I get it wrong many times, but I am so grateful for the times when I get it right. Praise God for growth! I’m learning to trust Him in those situations that he will work it all out for good.

      Thank you for sharing!!!!

  3. Karina,

    In this day & age it is so easy to be misunderstood. Everyone wants to tell their side of the story now & be heard. No one wants to be slow to speak & get angry. It takes practice to hear people out & pray about the situation. I’m easily offended even over trivial matters. Like Bev I’m sensitive. It takes hard word on my part to keep on & not lash out & show my emotions. I had an incident at work the other day & was lamenting it all weekend. Yesterday God spoke to me through a radio program. They talked about forgetting the past & opening the “present” God has given us today. Thanking Him for a new day & His new mercies. Starting over & doing better. I guess I should learn from my mistakes & move on. One mistake or misunderstanding should not ruin your whole life.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Amen Beth! I am sensitive as well. I just want everyone to think well of me and trust my heart, so it’s really hard when misunderstandings happen. I am learning and growing. It is all a process. Thankful for Jesus’ patience with me!

      Thank you for sharing!!!

  4. Wow, I can relate to this so much. Thank you for being an example of what it means to “make allowances for one another” and “walk in love.” Not many I am surrounded by comprehend why I apologize when I’ve been wronged or mend when I could’ve broken, but I think you ladies here do.

  5. Thankyou so much for this, it really resonated with where I’m at right now. In my life I strive to live authentically, however when I’m misunderstood and I feel that who I am has been attacked, I’m often at a loss as to how I continue to love the people who have found me offensive in a way that honours their sensitivity, yet doesn’t compromise me being myself. It’s a fine line, and at times I can resent feeling as though my wings are clipped for the sake of another person, even whilst I feel guilty because often love is a sacrifice. I think remembering that God is my defender is key, and I’ll be mulling over that scripture this week.

    • Just YES Jasmine! Story of my life. I hate awkward. There is such a fine line to loving those who have found fault with me. I’m learning to navigate those situations slowly. I’m so thankful for God’s grace and patience!

      Thank you for sharing!

  6. This is excellent. Been there, not done that….and stewed in bitterness and and hurt. In today’s opinion driven world with its confirmation biases, truth nor feelings are considered. This mires many relationships in a battle to “be right”. As Christians we must consider His truth, and respond with the grace you express so well in this writing when caught in these ever more common moments. I needed this sweet reminder. Well done, thank you!

  7. Very true. I find the need to represent my side of the story as well when I was younger. Now that I am older, it doesn’t matter as much as what others think of my story. As long as the Lord and I knows the story, that’s all that matters. My actions will prove it otherwise. I just have to remind myself that we all have our story to share and I should not be quick to judge anyone. We just got to forgive and love on those who may have misunderstood us for whatever reasons and leave it be. There are more important things to dwell on. Thank you for sharing.

  8. You described well my experience & reaction to ‘feeling’ misunderstood. Realizing that my emotions were in control not my heart-mind-soul for God – that my actions & reactions were coming from a place & position not rooted in Him…turned me into a better listener & conflict manager. Thank you for sharing & supporting those of us who are working to root our identity in Christ & not our ego.
    Praise & blessings always!

    • Amen Trish! I always need to be reminded where my identity lies.

      I love that you’ve grown and have become a better listener and conflict manager! We all need to do that well!

      Thank you for sharing!

  9. Karina, thank you. It is very hard to do what you did! What I’ve learned from being misunderstood is that people speak about others how they view themselves. Not to say I shouldn’t look for the grains of truth in what is said, but after carefully sifting the words, sometimes there is nothing of value to keep — enter anger. It’s far easier to forgive someone when I’m pitying them. When someone’s words and actions demonstrate a lack of understanding how much God loves and accepts them, I can view it as a ministry opportunity — inconvenient and costly though it may be. I know this blog post really cost you, Karina. Thank you for being willing to live for Jesus even when it hurts to show us all the right way. Hugs!

    • Thank you Pearl! Your words are giving me life! I’m so grateful!

      Amen to everything you said! So true!

      Thank you for reading and blessing my sister!!!

  10. Karina,
    The answer to your question is yes I have been misunderstood. But over time I have grown to learn, although it can be hard, that it takes patience, and yes even silence, rather than stating my case, because it’s already being worked out.
    Thank-you for sharing your thoughtful post with us.
    Blessing to all,
    Penny

  11. This dates me, I know, but reading this post reminded me of the 1965 song by the Animals, “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” The refrain states: “I’m just a soul whose intentions are good; Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.” I’m still working through those situations when they arise, but the Lord has been so patient with me through the years. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Thank you for sharing your experience, Karina, and highlighting the positive outcomes of conflict and misunderstandings–IF we view them through the lens of growth. The relationship can deepen as I seek to understand the other person, and godly character traits can be strengthened , like patience, self-control, consideration of others, and peace-making–to name a few. Lord, help me keep this perspective as conflicts arise. May I seek such positive outcomes, not self-centered affirmation for my views and actions!

  13. This is a wonderful reminder, and as I was reading, it dawned on me (or rather, the Holy Spirit brought to me), that I need to apply this truth to my marriage and family.

    I also tend to naturally get defensive when I think I am being misunderstood, which often happens in a marriage, and for me is often compounded because I also have two sons. Although all of my guys are amazing and working on being more understanding, they still think very differently than I do as a woman (and with our unique personalities, as well).

    Your words, “when we are misunderstood, we need to exchange defensiveness for His truth” jumped out at me, and I realize how very much I needed to hear this.

    Thank-you for sharing words of truth to help us mature in our relationships.

  14. This is definitely something we all can identify with. Thank you for sharing! I will never forget a sermon I heard on this topic – when we are tempted to want to defend self against a false accusation, we can know that although their statement might not be true, something else less noble might be true of us. And there is such liberty in knowing we have issues, lol. That’s why we need a Savior . . . who has our back and is for us, praise the LORD!

  15. Thanks for the advise.
    I remember my Pastor had preached something like..
    You don’t have to be married to give advise or preach about marriage. Is the Holy Spirit who knows all thing doing in you, for you and thru you. Is not experience that teach us but is the HOLY SPIRIT does.
    I might not right but just put the trust in the LORD who had called you.

  16. Karina, being misunderstood is among my worst fears as well. Funny (or not) how the dynamics of a childhood home can affect you for a lifetime. — I’m sorry you were misunderstood after your experience with God. ((Hug)) Sounds like you handled it gracefully. xoxo

    • Thank you Brenda! You are so right! Childhood dynamics really do affect us for a lifetime. I have to constantly fight against it.

      I learned a lot in this situation and I pray I handle it the right way the next time something happens.

      Thank you for sharing!

  17. It has been my experience to be misunderstood many times by my husband who is not a believer. He feels I need to meet his expectations and if not, I’m not normal or have to be better. I have tried to defend myself many times, but now I realize that he is in bondage to perfection and anything less is not acceptable. I’m leaning more and more on the Lord and keeping silent in defending myself. The Lord is the only one who I need approval of and I can listen to the criticism and become bitter or silently turn to the Lord within to have Him give me peace and wisdom in my responses. I also like what you said about listening to the other person. They have issues and need to be heard. I pray the Lord would be my defender in all the accusations, but remember that when Jesus was in front of the Pharisees, he did not respond to their accusations. My best defense is the Lord and He will bring me inner peace that surpasses understanding. Thank you for writing this as it shows me that I can demonstrate the love and grace that only Jesus brings when confronted with accusations.

    • Dear Kathy, I pray that God softens your husband’s heart towards you and that he is able to accept himself and you more and more. May God give you a supernatural infilling of his spirit and love, amen!

    • Amen Kathy!

      It’s hard, but I felt good about listening and not becoming super defensive. I hope God was glorified in that situation.

      Thank you for sharing! I echo Agnes’ prayer. May God do a supernatural work in your marriage!

  18. Karina,
    Thank you.
    This made me think about a quote I saw at a doctor’s office. “If you have a choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” This might be a paraphrase from Wayne Dyer. Anyway I am learning to pray for God to place a guard at my mouth and yes, even on my expressions! In a defensive and angry world Love and Kindness carries great power.
    All glory to God.
    Kay Lake

    • So good Kay! I love that quote!

      My expressions are the worst! My emotions are written all over my face! UGH!

      Thank you for sharing! Blessings!

  19. This was very helpful! I’ve found often time I’m so caught up being defensive ….I miss what I’m so suppose to learn from the conflict. I’m a work in progress as I work on working/growing through how to deal with conflict as Jesus would…..

  20. A situation happened today, I became defensive! Not as defensive as I would have years ago. But i could feel it brewing just beneath the surface. It was very frustrating…. I explained my point of view to the person and discussed it with 1 other person. Normally I would have rushed to my boss, cried in my husband’s ear, and fretted about it for hours. Instead I put on worship music and prayed. It wasn’t a specific prayer, I dont even remember it. I just told The Lord I wanted to stop being so prideful. And while my mind has tried to push it up to the front of my mind this evening, I have refused to allow it. Didn’t discuss it with my husband. I pray to just move on. It was such a minor, minor, minor issue. Most people wouldn’t have given it a second thought. I am so thankful for the progress I see. But next time Im hopeful, I will turn to the Lord first and not waste energy on explaining myself or even discussing with another person. Next time I want to accept the critique and then turn it over to the Lord. Progress, not where I was, but not where I wanna be! I’ll be saving this post for future reference! Thank you!

  21. That is awesome SB! I am proud of you and even more so is Jesus!

    He is patient with us in our process. He is faithful to give us chance after chance to respond as He does. He loves us deeply and is committed to seeing us grow in His likeness.

    Thank you for sharing!!!