While I was in quarantine, there were a few people who just didn’t understand my condition. Those people felt like I should just “snap out of it” and live a normal life. I spent a lot of time trying to explain Multiple Chemical Sensitivity to them, but they just didn’t get it. Since perfume and fabric softener didn’t make them sick, they didn’t see why it should bother me. In their mind, I was just a nut.
I didn’t like having them think I was nutty. It hurt my feelings. It made me feel very small and insignificant. I wasted a lot of time trying to “prove” that I was right. I spent countless sleepless nights gathering data and devising “wise” arguments. Eventually, though, I learned an important truth—some people can’t be convinced. Some people simply can’t understand. Other people simply don’t want to understand. And trying to convince those people to see things my way is a complete waste of time. I also learned that allowing other people’s opinions to define how I felt about myself was STUPID. After all, what’s so bad about being seen as a nut? Nuts have all kinds of good things inside of them. Even if some people are allergic to nuts, most people really enjoy them. In fact, it could be said that a chocolate sundae doesn’t have the ability to reach the level of divine delectability without a sprinkling of nuts on the top!
Friends, I’ve learned that freedom comes when you relinquish your reputation into God’s hands. When people misunderstand despite being presented with the facts, it’s the only thing you CAN do. Stressing, worrying, questioning, reasoning, explaining—doesn’t do a lick of good, and it’s EXHAUSTING. Being misjudged is hard, but Jesus went through it too. 1 Peter 2:21b-23 says, “Christ is your example. Follow in His steps. He never…answered back when insulted; when He suffered He did not threaten to get even; He left his case in the hands of God who always judges fairly.”
Although it hurts to be misunderstood, it hurts more to worry about it.