One of the most amazing thing to me to have seen through this journey of mine is how often it is that what I’m saying and meaning is not what is being heard…. and why. I never considered early on that there were so many various definitions and perspectives of words that we all have, and how it is that so often what word I use is not the meaning that it will have when its heard.
See words and terms change and have been changing for a very long time now. What a word once meant years ago doesn’t have the same meaning today that it once did… but what is more important for us to see is that it is not so much that the definitions have changed, but the perceptions or distinctions that have been created in our minds, have either changed or have become steadfast and “strongholds” on our minds.
Like the term Christian, for an example. When we look to the bible, we have the term or title Christian as being something that someone else called a person that was seen in the cities and streets of a town doing as Jesus did. Healing the sick, casting out demons,and were teaching people what Jesus had taught them and commanded them to teach others to observe. Christians was not a title one gave oneself, nor was it a title that one called himself/herself by.
Yet today, with the various denominations we have in Christianity and the various beliefs that so many that call themselves Christians have…. not only has the definition of the term changed from being a “name called” by others based on actions being done…. it now has become what one calls himself/herself… but even with that said…. when a person calls himself/herself “Christian”… that could and often times means a variety of different beliefs that are often time not at all in agreement with other “Christians” and their “beliefs”, nor the perception they have of the term either.
So even though God shared with me a very long time ago that it was not the example of Jesus Christ in the pages of the bible to bear witness of Himself, it wasn’t to be so with me either… so you won’t find me calling myself a “Christian”, which some even take offense with me about not doing so without even hearing why… however…. what I want to ask you to consider here is something that is very profound to me and what I see that is having so much of an issue with us being able to communicate one with another…. and is resulting in a lot of misunderstandings and not hearing what is being said that with a little reconsideration can help to resolve. So let’s talk about that for a moment…
Have you ever heard something from someone and immediately when you heard it you got upset? It hurt your feelings, it sounded judgmental, critical, etc? Heck yeah… right! But when that happened, did you ever stop for a moment and look within yourself and ask yourself why it was that you had such a reaction to what was said or you heard?
Have you ever asked yourself in that very moment, “is that what she really meant to say”… or “is that what he really means or thinks”…. or do we apply the distinctions created in our own minds over our own perceptions of words and terms and even tone of voice and that becomes what someone else MEANT without question??
I’ve learned that often time that my reaction either way… good or bad to what someone says to me is always to give me rise to look deeper within myself. The words and opinions of another are not to be more valuable to me and about me than what it is that I know from within me, or what God has said about me or to me, so it’s often when I react or respond within me that there is something more there for me to see and deal with or at least see. However, in doing that…. and in asking myself the questions I’ve asked you to consider here…. I’ve been able to see how so much of what is being heard is not what is being said by the other person…. it is my perceptions of the words or terms that I’m hearing that is being affixed in my own mind and thus that means I’m only hearing whatever it is that I want to hear or am willing to hear… and boy we know that’s not good… right? How can we be willing to hear the truth and seek the truth… and know who we are.. if we’re only willing to hear what it is that we want to hear and nothing else??
This is also what I’ve seen happen so many times with the bible as well. We have a distinction created in our minds of what the terms in the pages of the bible mean today… what the writers are telling us based on the perceptions of those terms and what they mean to us today, without giving any consideration to the point that they are translations of words from another language than English, and how the definitions and meanings of terms have changed in our own short lifetimes…. thus how they could have changed drastically in the years since the translations were shared, or the writings were written.
So when we read the bible… are we hearing today what the writers are saying to us… or are they saying things that we aren’t willing to hear or don’t hear because we have already determined within our own minds the distinctive meanings or perceptions and thus are hearing only what it is that we want to hear…. or what it is that we want them to be saying rather than as they are written?
One of the most amazing things for me through this journey has been understanding that I have to be willing to forsake all …. that I have to be willing to forsake what it is that I thought I knew.. the images and distinctions created in my own mind… from hearing words and terms that have a meaning today that didn’t have back in the years gone by… but also that I have to be willing to hear what it is that others have to say to me… or share with me based on what THEY mean by the terms they use, and what their definitions are of those terms so that I can thus HEAR what they are saying to me…. rather than what it is that I think they are saying based on my perception of the terms they use in doing so.
So I want to encourage each of you reading this article today consider what I’m sharing with you today…. look at each word you speak and you hear or read in the next few days and look at all the possible meanings that each of those words might have. Revisit the words in the bible using an online concordance and see what the words were that were translated into English ones we read today…. see what the original words meant so long ago, and hear what it is that the writers are actually saying to us, and have been for a very long time… willing to consider that what they are saying, might not be what you’ve been hearing… and let them speak to you and for themselves.
Also, with each word that you speak and each that you hear said from someone else… do the same thing. Consider all the possible meanings for the words heard and spoken… and if you are not sure what a person means by what terms they are using…. ASK THEM! Don’t assume that they are saying something when they might not be at all…. or they might be saying something totally different from you’re hearing simply because we so often are hearing, our perception and meanings of the terms being used…. our understanding of them… and not those that are saying or using them!!
If you’re hearing them from God and aren’t sure what God means…… lean not on your own understanding, but in all things acknowledge (act on the knowledge that God shares with you about it) and He will direct your paths!