Give me understanding

Give me understanding, that I may learn Thy commandments. Psalm 119: 73b

This is a wonderful prayer of the Psalmist. We live in a shrinking world with varieties of cultures, languages and races. One word seem to mean many things when we add the cultural, ethnic and language differences. Understanding is not an easy thing as each word in a cultural context might be slightly different from another. When the psalmist prays for understanding, the psalmist is asking God’s help to know the intended meaning of a word and a phrase rather than the emotion seem to have contained in a word.

Every time when we hear someone say something that does not make any sense to us or if a word hurts us may be we can start praying the same, “Lord bless me with knowledge of the intended meaning of a word that hurts us rather than the sound of a few syllables”. Many wars, feuds, heartaches and trouble in this world can be avoided if only we can ask for more understanding from God, and of course from the other, each time we hear a word that did not sound right. As every word that is spoken is a powerful weapon, another word spoken in retaliation might bring more havoc. We carry a weapon with us that can stab the other in the back and us in the front at the same time. Our words are powerful and our understanding of it makes us spacious within.

Only when we learn the intended meaning of words we can really start learning and living the Ten commandments. Each commandment in itself has more than just the a few phrases and nuances. Each commandment is rich with more and more meaning when it reaches from culture to languages to races to people. We need God’s help to learn, grasp and keep God’s law. Pray with me please saying, give me understanding O Lord, that I may keep your law in my heart. Make my understanding spacious that my words may be gracious.

Fr. Jos

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