Living in Understanding

Written April 12th 2008, Saturday – Posted April 14th 2008, Monday

Living in Understanding

Consider your daily life.  Do you live in understanding with the people in your home, workplace, around you, and with God?  Doing so can enhance your productivity, peace, lower your stress levels, and give your life greater meaning.  However, to reach this stage of living we must first put some effort in ourselves.  Effort which will help us to learn how to “live with understanding” with each person in our life.

Understanding might also be known as knowing things in their right relationship.

Psalm 119 is a wonderful Scripture to read that shares insight about gaining understanding into many areas of life through prayer.  The Psalm is much to long to print within this text. 

Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it. But the correction of fools is folly. – Proverbs 16:22

Hebrew definition of the word “understanding” in this verse:
7922. from 7919; intelligence; by impl. success:— discretion, knowledge, policy, prudence, sense, understanding, wisdom, wise.
7919 to be (caus. make or act) circumspect and hence, intelligent:— consider, expert, instruct, prosper, (deal) prudent (-ly), (give) skill (-ful), have good success, teach, (have, make to) understand (-ing), wisdom, (be, behave self, consider, make) wise (-ly), guide wittingly.

Understanding is defined as:
1.  ability to grasp meaning: the ability to perceive and explain the meaning or the nature of somebody or something 

2.  knowledge of something: knowledge of a particular subject, area, or situation
gaining a better understanding of industrial processes
3.  interpretation of something: somebody’s interpretation of something, or a belief or opinion based on an interpretation of or inference from something
4.  mutual comprehension: an agreement, often an unofficial or unspoken one
5.  knowledge of another’s nature: a sympathetic, empathetic, or tolerant recognition of somebody else’s nature or situation

sympathetically aware: sympathetic, empathetic, or tolerant in recognizing somebody’s or something’s character and situation

Wow – bet you did not think “understanding” or “living in understanding” entailed all of those things. 

Often we just simply do not act with intelligence when dealing with another human being.  We instead chose to act without the proper knowledge, consideration, and wisdom needed when dealing with the situation.  As an alternative, we need to become an expert in the art of prudence and discretion. Learning to govern our behavior and control our words.  We are the only ones who can control our actions and what we say, with the help of the Holy Spirit, of course.  We need to use our sense when deciding what action to take. In acting circumspect, we attempt to take into account all the circumstances of a situation before we act.  We can never forget that as Christians we are instructing people everyday with every action we take.

In James 1 God tells us that if we ask Him for godly wisdom He will grant that wisdom.  Therefore, we should rely on the Holy Spirit to help us with the ability to perceive what is going on in a situation or with a person.  Therefore, we can get an interpretation of something through a spiritual perspective instead as a human perspective. By handling situations this way, we may find ourselves much more sympathetically aware of another persons actions.  Oftentimes, there is a reason why people act in unbecoming manners.  Surely, you have heard the phrase, ‘Hurting people hurt people.’

There are times when we deal with people and circumstances that are much more volatile and difficult. There will be times when the only course of actions between yourself and another will be an agreement, whether a spoken or unspoken one, to simply agree to disagree.  Being understanding does not mean compromising our beliefs or actions!   That being said, we must have knowledge of another’s nature in order to know how best to deal with them.  The angry man will not be best reach through in your face confrontation.   Recognizing somebody’s character is part of acting circumspectly when dealing with him or her.  Do I expect the inconsiderate tardy friend to be on time today?  If so, I am most likely setting myself up for frustration and disappointment.   When someone is hurt or grieving, we need to act in a manner, which communicates that we have a sympathetic, empathetic, or tolerant recognition of somebody else’s situation.  Dealing with a person who has been abused requires that we recognize the damage done to their life and character; while continually helping them to overcome the damage done to them we are more tolerant of their insecurities and oversensitivity born out of what they have experienced.  

Living in understanding requires acting with the love of Christ.  Agape love is more about action than feeling.  I feel confident, due to the blood drops of sweat and request of Jesus to the Father if there was another way for humanity’s redemption that Jesus did not feel like going to the cross.  We may not feel like dwelling with the people around us with understanding but the real questions is will we do it anyway!


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