Is Accepting Better Than Understanding?
Have you ever searched repeatedly for answers to questions that you have; and you found that the answers just did not come? Have you ever experienced situations that bombarded your thoughts, and to this day you yet wonder, “Why did these thing happen?” Or ” What is the purpose?” Think about it. …What reactions would you have if you were in a maze, and you spent hours trying to find the designated exit points to no avail? Imagine how you would feel if you had to spend countless hours, days, months or years waitIng and waiting; searching and searching and wondering and wondering? How long would it take for the lack of understanding the reason behind a matter to topple your peace and your joy? And at what point would the lengthy bewilderment persuade you into saying, “Whatever! I’m tired of this! What will be, will be! I’m through trying to understand?” But, think about it. If you resolve to forgo something, does it end your wonder?
Well, people can say, “Yes,” to these common conclusions in certain situations. But some of us, not all of us, but some of us go the distance before we push the wonderment aside and hang up our cleats. We find the determination to move on and keep going no matter what. Yet, little incidences and cues pop up and ignite small fires that revive our need to understand why all over again. Can you relate?
For instance, have you experienced something so devastating until all you could do is utter, “God why did you allow this to happen to me?’ It may have been the loss of a loved one, a broken relationship, a divorce, a public humiliation or a sudden illness that rendered you disabled? Did not knowing why perplex and frustrate you? Did the new problem cause memories of old forgotten ills to resurface? Did your fervent attempts to figure out the cause or purpose of events and situations that God allowed to happen in your life dampen your spirit? Or even the pieces to the puzzle of your life’s enormously eventful lifeless drama? Have they resurfaced and disrupted your calm? Has the spirit of depression ever barged in and recited a list of the troubles that you’ve experienced? Then what do you do when you say for the umpteenth time, “Lord I just don’t understand why?” Well my friends, that’s when acceptance knocks at your door.
Accepting And Understanding
Accepting and understanding are listed as synonyms in some contexts. However, they do have differences. I posed the question, “Is accepting better than understanding” to four people. Here are the responses along with my thoughts:
- A young man in his twenties responded instantly, and said. “No! You have to understand something in order to accept it.”
- A young lady in her twenties said, “Yes it is sometimes. It depends on the situation. I like to have understanding to help me better accept it.”
- A young man in his thirties said, “I believe it’s acceptance. Understanding only comes after acceptance. Acceptance is faith in the unknown. Example: I have no idea where God comes from, but I accept that He exists. I may not know what His plans are, but I accept His Will. In order to be a great person, husband, father and son, I have to accept that all people are different; yet we all are a part of God’s plan. So we should love unconditionally.”
- A middle-aged man scratched his head and said, “It depends upon the context from which the question comes. Accepting and understanding are different. In some situations you have to think about it and understand what you will accept. In others you don’t.”
My friends, I agree with the above responses. Some things do mandate understanding before accepting; when coming from certain people. Especially when it doesn’t make sense. Like tell me why you want me to walk outside in the cold, and rain with no coat or shoes on. Help me to understand.
But, Just because we accept something from people, doesn’t mean that we agree with them. And just because we understand, doesn’t mean we accept. Also, we all want to understand certain things just for clarity. It’s the natural inquisitiveness in us. Think of young children. They always want to know why. They’re not necessarily trying to prove you wrong with their questions. They just want to understand. Their questions give credence to the thought that, misunderstandings can lead to fiascos.
Yet, when it comes to God, and our belief in Him, acceptance comes before understanding. When we accepted The Lord Jesus as our savior through faith, we didn’t have a clear understanding. we just believed. And we study the Word and come to church to hear the preached Word for understanding. Then faith and understanding drives more acceptance.
Also, when it comes to what God allows, acceptance is really the better characteristic in any analogy. You can be in deep agony over pain in your body, or from the loss of a loved one, and you just don’t understand why God hasn’t or did not answer your prayers. I asked God why He allowed my daughter to suffer throughout her life and especially the last six to eight months of her life and die. I asked The Lord, “Why do my grandson, son-in-law, sons, daughter’s cousins and her close friends have to endure the pain of loss? Why did I lose my only daughter?” These questions were there in June, 2014 and have resurfaced on countless occasions since then.
My friends, I discovered that by continuing to ask for an understanding, I was chipping away at my faith in God. The enemy of my soul taunted me when I prayed, read my Bible, listened to the preached Word at church and even after I taught the Word. So I decided to stop seeking to understand why; and to genuinely accept what God allows. I believe, if we keep trying to understand and not accept what God allows in our lives, the enemy of our souls will pounce in on our vulnerability and try to coerce us into walking away from God. But let us hold on to Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Thank you for joining me in these Monday moments of reflection. My last question today: “Is accepting better than understanding?” Join me in conversation. I’d love to hear from you. We’ll talk on Thursday.
Originally posted 2016-02-01 23:58:39.