Summary: Part 2 of this series focuses on how we misinterpret ourselves and misrepresent Christ.
Misinterpretation; Misrepresentation: It’s About The Truth Part 2
Last week I delivered Part one of this message on truth. My Focus last week was to set the stage with an explanation of the five senses and how although we depend heavily on them, they do not always lead us to the truth. In that message I shared with you a specific example of how our senses fail us using the story of Isaac. Within that story I told you that we wear cloaks (and/or masks) to hide who we really are – and I asked you to think about what you would do if you wore a sign that said you were a Christian. Some of you might change some of the places you visit routinely while others of you may change how you talk. Some of you believe that you would not change anything and that is fine also. This morning I want to conclude this series by us taking a serious look at ourselves and the truth that we hide about ourselves. Let’s go into the heart of the message: “Misinterpretation; Misrepresentation: It’s About The Truth”.
I want to begin with Misinterpretation. To misinterpret something means to not translate correctly. Think of someone who is interpreting a language for someone else. Imagine if you will, that I am standing before you delivering this message and we have people in the congregation who only speak Spanish. In order for them to understand the message, I would need someone to interpret the message. What happens if the person doing the translating of what I am saying gets it totally wrong – they misinterpret what I am saying? The message I am delivering would not be the message that they are receiving because the translator was getting it wrong. All of us misinterpret things from time to time. We judge others by what we see; we half listen to those we talk to so we misinterpret what they say; and because of our own issues, we misinterpret the actions and/or concerns of those who love us. But the worse case in my opinion is when we misinterpret ourselves. There are times when we accept the thoughts that others have of us as our own thus forgetting or misinterpreting who we really are. Let me walk you through this.
Let me give you an example of what I mean when I say we misinterpret ourselves when we take on the thoughts that others have of us. Again, remember the definition of misinterpretation is to not translate correctly. Turn with me to 1 Timothy 4:12-16 and 2 Timothy 1:5-7; 2:1, 15.
“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who heard you.” (1 Timothy 4:12-16)