To Be Understood as to Understand

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How many times do we say things we don’t really mean, out of simplicity?

In conversation, when asked how we are doing, the automatic response is a simple “good, and you?”

In writing, the words we read on paper may not be as genuine as we’d like them to be. Two people can write the exact same sentence, but the sincerity of them can differ significantly. We share the same vocabulary, so how can we tell the difference between someone writing from the heart versus someone who has a shallow yet eloquent way with words?

Further, the experiences we go through often seem to be more common and even cliché than we’d like to realize, once we verbalize them to a friend. And as we continue sharing our dilemma with someone, we may even streamline our narrative in order for it to make more sense and be easier to neatly resolve without getting muddled by an array of other factors.

Sometimes it’s just easier to make it seem like we’re piecing together a 24 piece puzzle, rather than a 2500 piece one.

To the vast majority of people in our lives, we want to seem like we have it together. There’s a sense of alienation otherwise. Just think how uncomfortable it is if we ask a stranger “how are you?” out of politeness and they reply with “not good, and you?” Only our closest family members and best friends get a clear window into the complexity of our lives.

The wonderful thing about our God, though, is that he already knows us completely. Our loved ones get a window, but He owns the house.

His understanding of each and every individual surpasses our own self-awareness. He sees right through any empty, superficial words we may formulate even while in prayer. He certainly can tell the difference between a genuine testimony and one of fluff. And God surely knows the full story behind all our problems and praises before we even share them with Him.

Job 11:7 muses, “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?”

We need not seek to be understood by God – that weight has been lifted. Rather, we seek to know Him as He reveals Himself to us.

The greatest challenge in life is to actively pursue a close relationship with the Lord. There are so many doubts, temptations, and struggles swirling around us that obstruct this paramount goal, and even seek to diminish its sense of importance. Prayer truly is everything – it’s the process of learning who God is and having conversations that grow more affectionate and intimate with time.

To neglect this realization is to neglect a gift we could never even have asked to deserve. In every relationship in this world there are inevitable misconceptions, misunderstandings, and misinterpretations between loved ones and strangers alike. But the relationship between God and ourselves, between Creator and created, will never disappoint.

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