7. Understanding


If we engage in the spiritual combat with no other weapons than a distrust of self and confidence in God,…we must expect frequently to commit greater blunders….Let us begin with regulating the understanding and the will.  (SC 13-14, Chapter 7)

One thing leads to another.  It is inevitable.

Years ago when our kids were in their teens, I stumbled upon a medical fact unknown in the general culture.  Contrary to the safe sex message crafted by and taught in our school district, condoms were not a guarantee of “safe sex.”

As I began asking questions, it was only a matter of time before I came to reject my “pro-choice” acceptance of abortion and was soon working in the pro-life world.  Life of the unborn was a matter that stirred my passions.

After years of turning my eyes and covering my ears, my understanding was finally freed from the great defect of ignorance.[i]  No longer could I look at the photo of a child in the womb and deny its humanity.

Today, looking back on those years, I realize that my passion for life moved faster than my understanding of the subject.  Passionately, I wrote weekly blog columns posted on the new Internet.  I attended meetings, hearings and conferences.

But ignorance is reluctant to give way to understanding.  Quick to voice my opinions, I took time only to dig up a quote or fact that might help at the moment.  I interviewed, and I wrote.  Action was its own justification.  I was everywhere at one time…and nowhere in particular.

A new Christian in those days, I relegated prayer to my quiet time in the morning.  Today, dwelling in prayer throughout the day, I regret that my pro-life activity had not been covered at all times by unending prayer.

In general, I knew I was serving the Lord.  But specifically, I didn’t let the Author of Life lead me in the little moments and small decisions.  As one thing led to the next, my passion was unfocused and flailing in response, not to the Lord’s leading, but to the outside world.

I move slower these days.  Passionate as ever, I finally understand that my personal passion is not enough.  God must lead.

[i] SC 14

Question: Today, what passion stirs my heart?  Have I submitted this to the Lord?  And have I taken time to listen to His direction?


Lord, let me see you and trust you as the fountain of all truth and understanding.


The Lord looks down from heaven,
    he sees all the sons of men;
from where he sits enthroned he looks forth
    on all the inhabitants of the earth,
he who fashions the hearts of them all,
    and observes all their deeds.
[Psa 33:13-15]


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