Perception, Perspective, Understanding

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            The Bible is a living document. What does that mean? It means that the understanding of a particular set of words can be very different from one person to the next and can even change and be different for the same person at different times in their life. Yes, the same verses read over and over for years can suddenly take on a new meaning one day. Was that meaning always there? The words are the same on the paper, so what changed? We did. It’s all about us. Our perspective—“a particular way of viewing things that depends on one’s experience and personality” (citation)—changes, letting us perceive—“become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand” (source)—and understand—“1. To know the meaning of something, 2. To believe something is true because you have been told something that causes you to think it, 3. To know why or how something happens or works.” Suddenly we comprehend (grasp). We understand. (source)

            Hold up. Just when we think we’re all smart, something else comes up. We see another thing in the Living Word that we missed before, and we realize we aren’t so smart. Instead of feeling pompous and smart, we start feeling grateful and thankful that we are growing and expanding. Then we come to the realization—the factor or moment of starting to understand a situation—that everything is from God. He gives everything, including any understanding. Then we realize He is worthy of all praise and everything we can give Him. He gave us His word, and now, we can freely read it.

            Thank Him, praise Him, and read His word. Pray that He gives you perception and understanding. Ask that He open your eyes. Be careful about asking for perspective. You’re going to get it anyway because among the things He gives us is experience.

            James and Romans are about trials, endurance, and character (James 1:2; Romans 5:4). “Consider it great joy, my brothers [and sisters], whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2–4). “And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope” (Romans 5:3).