Understanding Leads to Change
“I wish I could understand why my teen behaves that way.” “If only Sally understood how I feel.” “I don’t understand, what should I do?” “I don’t understand why that happened.”
Have you ever asked yourself similar questions? Perhaps we need to look at things from a different perspective. Maybe we have asked the wrong questions. The better question might be “What would Jesus do?” Or is that question is just a cliché, or too simple? However, when I look at the account of Jesus’ life in Scripture, I see how He connected with people, and how He helped them during difficult situations? I realize I need to do the same thing.
Christ repeatedly stopped what He was doing and paid attention to those with whom He came in contact. Jesus saw them in their situation. We read this in the accounts of the woman at the well, Zaccheus, and when He asked that the children not be sent away, to name a few. Because Jesus is God, He knew their hearts, their needs and their motivations. He knew their struggles and sins. Without His omniscient power, how do we understand at a deeper level?
First, I read Psalm 119:97-104 several times and found three strategies that helped me better understand God and scripture. These verses also point to three significant outcomes when we understand God’s Word.
If you and I met together, I would ask you to look for these approaches and outcomes yourself. We would sit and discuss together what we each discovered. Perhaps you will want to stop reading this entry now, and read today’s verses to see what you find.
The words time, think and taste are either written or implied in these verses. I need to spend time with God. I need to think deeply about Him and His Word. I need to taste and savour every morsel. Tasting implies more than just a quick popping of something into the mouth. It indicates chewing on it, enjoying it, and receiving its nutrition. It’s important to fully experience His Word to understand it. This leads to intimacy with God. If you have travelled with us through this Psalm, you will realize this whole chapter is about falling in love with God, His Word, and its importance in our lives.
Second, I need to apply these same strategies when interacting with others. Spending time getting to know a person and developing a friendship first is the only way I will gain the privilege of speaking into their life when they have a need. In return, this person will also know me well enough to come alongside me when I need extra care.
Finally, as I meditated on these verses, I realized that time spent with thinking and tasting deep into His Word leads to significant changes in me.
I see a change in my actions and attitudes. If I allow the Lord to fill me with His Spirit I will be able to respond with His love, not with my agenda or bias. I will be able to understand others better. I will learn God’s principles that will, in turn, help me discern the needs of others and their viewpoints in a clearer light.
What would happen if we used these three tactics: time, thinking, and tasting when we are faced with something we don’t understand when it comes to pandemic issues? I truly believe we, as followers of Jesus, will respond with much more Christlike actions and attitudes.
To understand we needn’t know everything or agree completely with someone.
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