Word of the Week: Understanding

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding

 –Proverbs 3:5

The verse is easy to memorize, but it’s so hard to live. I often feel that I’m good at the trusting, and even the leaning. Where I fail most (and the trust and the leaning aren’t real) is that last part: understanding.

I’m a wanna-know-it-all.

I’m really grateful God gives us brains and I use mine constantly. Too much.

As a result, I tend to think myself and other people have a lot of that word: understanding. But even if we were all ultra-smart and extra-logical, God’s Word would still be true on this matter.

It’s risky to lean on our own understanding to the exclusion of trusting in the Lord.

Just a few examples of why:

  1. Understanding as a Human is Interpretative

For all our love of logic, the truth is this: our understanding is coupled with our own interpretation. Part of being human is having a perspective that isn’t perfect. All things we take in, we see from a human point of view. Our filters are tainted by sin, even when it comes to how we remember and apply facts.

  1. We Never Have All the Facts

Since we’re not omniscient and all-knowing, we never have all of the facts like God does. Our understanding is, consequently, always limited. To fill in what’s missing in our knowledge gaps, we have to use interpretation, assumptions, and conjecture.

  1. Understanding Isn’t Wisdom

What we do with our understanding (the way we lean on it) isn’t necessarily wise. We can have all of the facts and make poor judgement calls. Many matters are not purely logical, as Mr. Spock can attest.

  1. The Heart and the Brain Both Matter

Head knowledge is typically associated with understanding. Heart knowledge is another matter, and whether we see it or not, the two are connected inextricably. When we rely on just one or the other consistently, we’re setting ourselves up to fail.

  1. Our Own Understanding Never Seems to See God Correctly

Take the verse as a whole: we shouldn’t lean on our own understanding because we should trust in the Lord with all our hearts. Leaning is a version of trust. Our own understanding doesn’t lean on God the way it would if it was correct. After all, perfect understanding would have us relying on the one who knows all, wouldn’t it?

This post will also be shared on: #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #Intentionally Pursuing, #WomenWithIntention, #TellHiStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.

0 Replies to “Word of the Week: Understanding

  1. Ouch – #4.
    I do have a tendency to want to KNOW — and then to fall short of the doing. What a fantastic application this is, Bethany, in our world of an “all you can eat” buffet of facts on the internet. God wants us to BE like Him.
    Thanks for this wisdom!

  2. Understanding that there is an illusion, even to the point of being deceived like Adam and Eve, helps me to remember that I am limited in knowing what is really going on. Thankfully we have His word of truth too, to help us navigate our days!

  3. Thanks, Bethany, for giving me little doubt about the truth on this subject of understanding. This puts things squarely in the TRUTH column on a word that can sometimes get gray in is meaning and use. Very well said!

  4. Hi Bethany! What a great post, on one of my fav verses and topics! I love #4-The Heart and the Brain Both Matter! It’s what I educate and share in my work and words each day! Will be sharing this one…Have a very understanding week walking and trusting in the Lord!

    1. Thanks, Jill! And thank you so much for sharing it. I love this verse and topic too…probably because I so just want to understand everything!!

  5. Great points. Your point about the heart and brain both mattering make me think about the Bible verses “knowledge puffs up but love edifies” and “worship God in spirit and in truth.” Thanks for sharing at the #LMMLinkup.

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