Understanding Solves Problems

by Shane Wall

The rich man is wise in his own eyes and conceit, but the poor man who has understanding will find him out. Proverbs 28:11

In middle school I didn’t have a lot of friends. My social life consisted of church, home, school and more church, but I enjoyed it.

One of my classmates, Peter, was the complete opposite. The class broke into applause every time he walked into a room. He had all the coolest clothes and the most friends. And he always had a smile on his face. At least, it seemed that way to those around him. But when he thought no one was looking, I would often see his face turn sad and his eyes solemn. One day, I walked up to him and asked him if he was okay.

“You seem sad all the time,” I told him. He looked back at me, his eyes filling with tears. Clearing his throat, he confided in me that his parents were getting a divorce, though it wasn’t a big deal. But the expression on his face said that he was devastated.

“You’re the only one who noticed,” he said.

With understanding, we don’t only see what everyone else is looking at. We use understanding to look beyond what’s presented in front of us to find out what’s really going on behind the veil. Peter was shocked that someone actually cared. He thought that friends were only people who made him feel special or said nice things about him.

When we have understanding, we’ll look past what everyone else sees and discern what is real behind the facade. We need God’s understanding, but we also need to learn what to do with it. Having understanding isn’t a free­pass to bring judgment on others. Understanding adjusts the lens of our eyes so that we can see what was previously hidden.

Instead of resorting to display a negative attitude towards someone who does the same to us, it’s better to get understanding as to why the individual seems out of sorts. We’ll then find that most people have a solvable problem, but just need someone else to recognize the source, suggest a solution and care about the result.

We need to be understanding about someone else’s problems. God made more than one person, so evidently He desires us to require and to provide help for one another.

I’ve never seen a tree eat its own fruit.

I’ve never seen a tree eat its own fruit. What we produce is not for ourselves. It’s for others. Who will you help today by offering your understanding?

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