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  • Allen Domelle

I Want to Understand

Proverbs 18:2

A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.

I recently had a person come to my office who told me they were not sure that they quite agreed with me on a subject but that they were willing to learn. This person is a great person, and is truly a person that I admire for the steadiness in life. This person was in no way challenging me, they just did not understand something and understood that someone older might know something that they did not know, and they were willing to change if they could be taught from the Scriptures where they differed with me.

Sadly, this is not the story of every person who has come into my office. Now, I don't think everyone is a bad person who disagrees with me, but I do believe that this person who came to me had the right spirit in how they addressed their difference. God says a fool hath no delight in understanding. In other words, the fool is unwilling to learn or even find out if they could be wrong. The fool thinks they are always right and is unwilling to listen to someone who might know something more. Now, how do we avoid being this fool?

First, realize you don’t know everything. Just because you are older does not mean you know everything. The wise person understands that they are still human and that there is much to learn. Certainly, some things are clearly settled in the Scriptures that must never be reconsidered, but never be so arrogant to think you know it all.

Second, be willing to be taught. A wise person is always willing to learn. I am in my mid-fifties at this writing, and I have been going to church my entire life, but I still learn things from God’s Word and others that I do not know. You are living in a dangerous stage of life when you are no longer willing to be taught and are not willing to learn from others.

Third, ask when you approach something you have never heard before. Being the age that I am and being around so many great Christians and preachers throughout my life, I have learned that if something sounds new, it is likely something that is not found in the Scriptures. I have always had the motto that when I hear something new, it is likely new to God, which means it is new because it is false. We can be so determined to prove our point that we pull something out of the Scriptures that is new to God and contradicts His Word. Before you embrace something new, you would be wise to ask an older and wise person what they think about your new discovery in the Scriptures.

Fourth, don’t use disagreement as an excuse to backslide or compromise. Many say to their pastor that they disagree with them so they can leave a good church and backslide or compromise. Just because you told your pastor that you disagree with him so you can leave does not justify your compromise or backsliding ways. Don't tell me you disagree when as soon as you leave you stop being faithful to church and change your standards. It is not that you disagree; it is that you don't want to do right.

Fifth, ask with the right spirit. When you want to understand but seem to disagree, your spirit in asking for understanding does matter. Don't come in demanding, but be respectful of the preacher and his position; you will get more help with the right spirit than you ever will with a demanding or arrogant spirit.


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