“He just doesn’t understand.” That was in reference to Mike, a friend of mine who was sitting next to us as another friend and I discussed our wives. Mike was not married, and didn’t comprehend the view we had of marriage. We were both in long term marriages, and without having that experience it was difficult to comprehend the difference between tolerance and acceptance. What came up too was the topic of handling money. The differences were interesting to us, to say they least. We were openly talking about how our wives saw money, and the use of it, different than we did. We had to, over the course of our marriages, work out a way to focus on the long term goals, not the differences that showed up. Mike didn’t think he could be married to someone who was “so different” to his way of thinking. He didn’t see how a marriage would be “so good” as we described it, and yet there be such a difference in the way our spouses approached money.
Understanding is described as the ability to comprehend – to understand.
I’m referring to the old testament “above all get understanding”. In Mike’s case, it means he would have to change the way he looked at marriage, comprehend things in a different way. A shift in his thinking about what marriage is about. That accepting someone for their values when they are different than yours and working with those differences.
This applies to all sorts of things in life. When someone does not seem to comprehend something that does not mean they are not able to, it means that they are stuck in a pattern of thinking that could be harmful.
I can not grasp, comprehend, certain kinds of math. That doesn’t mean I do not have understanding, it means that my mind does not have the capacity to grasp trigonometry. That is not something that I will ever have. However, when it comes to common sense, some people also do not have the capacity to comprehend that either. That could be something that person will never have, as in my case I will never have the ability to comprehend higher math.
Gaining understanding, in my case, means that according to the gifts I have, I should have above average understanding. That my understanding in my area of giftedness should be way above the understanding of someone who does not have that gift or talent. Above all seek understanding can have many applications, and one that I am making here is that we should gain understanding in our area of giftedness.
Gaining understanding also means gaining understanding about life. A good comprehension of what life is about, and how we understand it, is necessary to have a good understanding of other things. My view here is that without the ability to see how God created the world for His glory, it will be more difficult to understand the ways we are created.
The beginning of being wise, is to have understanding. Spending time thinking about God and his creation is a great place to start. Understanding the importance of his Son is also great understanding to have.