“A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
It is a great pity to be misunderstood by those around you. Some people suffer much simply because others do not take the time to get to know them. Hurtful things are gossiped about the poor individual who is not understood by others. The one being slandered finds it impossible at times to correct the wrong views of them and they withdraw into a shell of protection.
The Puritans are people who have been sadly misunderstood for many years. Highly inaccurate things have been said about them. For example one person said words to the effect that a Puritan is someone who is deathly afraid that someone somewhere might be enjoying themselves. Puritans were and are generally regarded as spoil sports.
Now you may hang on to this opinion as long as you do not study history or read the writings of Puritans. When you look at the evidence instead of accepting popular opinion uncritically, you discover a happy and joyful people totally unlike the criticisms levelled at them.
I happen to be one who has the writings of a dozen or more Puritans on my shelves along with several books written in the first half of the twentieth century about them. Several books written about 80 years ago describing these amazing people are so enlightening.
For example, Oliver Cromwell who was a great Puritan in England in the 1600’s was a fun loving man. When his daughters got married the wedding reception included a dance band and the music played until 4 am the next day. When the exhausted band members called it quits then the friends and families of the happy couple retired to the groom’s parents estate to continue the party for several more hours.
Jonathan Edwards, often called the last of the Puritans lived in the 1700’s. One person commenting on his ordination service to the Christian ministry said, “These Puritans even have ordinations at their dances.” Puritans loved to celebrate and enjoy life. The people of their time generally knew about their happy ways.
The reason for criticism was that while they took their parties seriously, they also took their Christianity seriously as well. They did not find the morals of the society of their day to be worthy of their time. For example it was well known that theatres in their day were a cover for brothels. Puritans spoke out against theatres for this reason. Some people who do not know history very well condemn Puritans for not enjoying the theatre!
Jesus was a sadly misunderstood person in His own day. He went to celebrations such as wedding receptions (John 2:1-11) but when the Temple was defiled He cleansed it (John 2:13-17). Jesus could enjoy a good time but was very concerned to live according to the will of God.
Are you someone who is misunderstood by others, perhaps even your family? Well you are in good company. Go on living as the Lord directs you and seek to enjoy all that the Lord has provided for you. When others misunderstand you for living a devout life keep in mind that your Saviour was criticised as well. When it comes time to face your Creator in judgement you will never regret doing His will in this life. Enjoy the Lord now and you shall have Him forever.