The Two Words We Often Mix Up

“You’re not listening to me” is a phrase I hear often. I think they are trying to say, “you’re not agreeing with me.”


My son has expressed to me that he wants to understand the rules I make or when I tell him to do something. He struggles when he does not understand. It took me a while to realize his desire to understand was related to his desire to agree. He wants to agree with my decisions, and if he can see the rules from my point of view it changes his perspective.

Does our desire to understand cause problems with those we disagree with? Understanding someone is important, but sometimes understanding has to be sacrificed. Sometimes we will never understand.

I have heard messages from God that were confusing. Rather than do the next right thing in my life (what He asked me to do) I spent too much time trying to understand. I was confusing listening and agreeing, because I did not agree with the next right thing He was asking me to do.

I may not understand my son, and he may not understand my rules, but he has taught me the value of sacrificing understanding when taking action is more important. Hopefully the listening will eventually create understanding.

Question: Are you ready to sacrifice understanding for compassion?

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