I wish I collected a $10 bill for every time I have tried to explain to our almost four year-old son that he cannot expect his one year-old sister to understand what he understands or act how he acts. Certainly, I’d at least have a nice chunk of petty cash to buy some more yoga pants and a value-pack of diapers!
“She’s ruining my stuff!”
- Caden, she’s just a baby. Evie doesn’t understand respect for others’ things, which is exactly why she just crawled over and started chewing on the Lego creation that you spent the last 15 minutes erecting.
“She keeps gettin’ in my way, Mommy!”
- Caden, she’s just a baby. Evie doesn’t understand personal space and privacy, which is exactly why she keeps crawling over your legs and grabbing at your face while you’re trying to watch your show.
“But Evie’s doing it!”
- Caden, she’s just a baby. Evie doesn’t understand social norms, which is exactly why she keeps repeatedly screeching at the top of her lungs in the middle of Target…and laughing hysterically, but you know better.
“But Evie’s using her fingers!”
- Caden, she’s just a baby. Evie doesn’t understand table manners, which is exactly why she’s double-fisting strawberries, throwing her cup, and wiping food in her hair.
“But Evie isn’t sharing with me!”
- Caden, she’s just a baby. Evie doesn’t understand how to play with others, which is exactly why she keeps taking all of your things and refusing to give them back.
“She isn’t talking to me, Mommy.”
- Caden, she’s just a baby. Evie doesn’t understand language and communication, which is exactly why she laughs at you when you keep trying to ask her questions.
I am saying it, explaining it, and trying to help him understand it in a 100 different ways…SHE’S JUST A BABY.
understand sort of understand something that my son doesn’t yet understand: We don’t all share the same level of understanding.
And so earlier this week, when I flipped a lid (like yelled real loud and got all ticked off and didn’t act like a sane adult) about my SON’S lack of understanding over his SISTER’S lack of understanding, I was reminded of something my brother had said to me last week when I, too, was experiencing my OWN lack of understanding.
In a nut shell, I had come home from a Bible study the week before and was feeling pretty frustrated with the maturity of the discussion and a lot disappointed with the level of personal engagement.
So because I needed a safe place to vent and process my icky feelings and my confused thoughts, I fired off an e-mail to my brother that pretty much said, “I don’t understand why people live such shallow, nominal Christian lives. What ever happened to the idea of being disciplined in our faith, of growing in our faith, of being seriously committed to our faith?”
Folks, there’s no happy, humble spin for the words in my e-mail. ICKY YUCK.
And my brother (who apparently understands something I wasn’t understanding) replied with the following grace and wisdom-filled words:
“It isn’t simply knowledge, but the lived knowledge of what they possess…many people are actively practicing what they do know…”
My wise brother was SPOT ON.
We don’t always know and understand what others already know and understand; we’re all growing at varying degrees and at varying paces; and we’re all using and living out the knowledge we have in the places we are.
Bottom Line: It’s not really about the “knowledge we have,” it’s about living the “knowledge we know.”
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.1 Corinthians 13:11
So who is the ‘I’ mentioned in this verse?
Paul. Yes, Paul…the great apostle, the prolific writer, the great debater, the hard-core missionary, the continuous prisoner, the godly martyr…yes, he (too) admits to a period of “child-like” faith.
Did Paul (once Saul, zealot of the Law) grow in his understanding of grace?
- He said in Romans 3:24, “Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”
Did Paul (once Saul, the wealthy Roman citizen) grow in his understanding of true, eternal riches?
- He said in Colossians 3:2, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
Did Paul (once Saul, son of a Jewish family) grow in his understanding of the gospel being for all nations?
- He said in Ephesians 3:8, “To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles [not God’s chosen people] the unfathomable riches of Christ.”
Did Paul (once Saul, the persecutor of the Church) grow in his understanding of being persecuted for the sake of righteousness?
- He said in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.”
Ummm…yeah. I’d say that Paul grew in his understanding…BIG TIME.
And just like Paul, and just like Evie, and just like Caden, and just like those women in my Bible study, and JUST LIKE ME…we’re all babies (in some way or another)…growing in our understandings.