Posts Tagged ‘understanding’

Verses 7-9: “Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.”

Set the time machine of your memories back to 1974-1981: do you remember a game show called “Name That Tune”? Hosted by Tom Kennedy, this game show offered a musical twist to its questions. (Now the show is actually older than this and had a handful of different hosts, but I remember this one specifically.) Contestants had to name musical pieces through a series of rounds and games, but I remember the Bid-a-note challenge: this was between two contestants and had as its clues a spoken Jeopardy-like hint. Based on the hint, the two finalists would bid down how many piano notes of the answer they needed in order to guess the song. The starting bid was seven notes, but contestants could bid down to one note, at which the other contestant would challenge them to “name that tune”. (Now granted, if they stated they could name it in one note, chances are they knew the answer from the clue, not the notes!) In most cases, the contestant winning the bid would have to recognize the song from several notes…just enough notes to hopefully name that tune.

Did you ever go somewhere and didn’t know what people were saying? The obvious example is to travel to a foreign country and not know the native language. If you were in that situation, you had to have an interpreter: one who knew what was being said and could tell you what it means. Paul here is advising the Corinthians that while it’s good to have the gift of speaking in tongues, he urged them to pray to ask for the gift of understanding/translation as well, whether personally or for someone to be there to interpret. Non-Christians would see someone speaking in tongues and conclude they had a gift, but to Christians in church who heard only the tongue being spoken, it was useless unless someone stood up to interpret. (Look up the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:27-39 for a good example!)

While the gift of tongues is not commonly heard today, Christians still need to tell others about Jesus. Sometimes they need to give their testimony without “churchy” words. Because, believe it or not, there are still those who seek to know who Jesus is, and we have to tell them in a way they’ll understand. Sometimes, we may need to do it in more than one note!

Something to think about!

Read Full Post »

Proverbs 2:11-15

verse 11: “Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you,”

May I present the special agents who work for Wisdom, Agent Discretion and Agent Understanding. They each serve a specific purpose here.

Agent Discretion will serve as your bodyguard. Discretion will go with you, be with you at all times. Discretion will guard you from bad situations, advise you before you make a decision that could be treacherous. Discretion cannot stop you if you decide to go against the agent’s advice, but rest assured, Discretion has seen these situations before, and usually the advice this agent gives is sound. If you decide to act without consulting Agent Discretion’s cautious counsel, the outcome (more than likely) will not be good.

Agent Understanding will be your shadow. This agent will be tailing you as you go through your normal routines in the world, and will be watching over you. This agent is an experienced guardian as well, seeing how situations develop and sizing up the likely outcomes, dependent on your participation or non-participation in them. Using this valuable knowledge, this agent is also a good advance scout to keep you from straying into a bad situation.

Now, forgive my humorous personification of these two aspects of wisdom. When I first read the verse, I thought of the old phrase “Discretion is the better part of valor”, a phrase attributed to Falstaff in William Shakespeare’s King Henry the Fourth. (see http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=Discretion+is+the+better+part+of+valor&ia=ahdi). “Caution is preferable to rash bravery.” (see http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=Discretion+is+the+better+part+of+valor&ia=ahcl). If we listen to God, and seek His wisdom in matters of life here on earth, there are a lot of evil situations that we won’t wind up in…especially since we won’t be alone. (Jesus told His followers I will always be with you…for the Christian, that’s assurance of eternal counsel!)

Have a blessed day!

Read Full Post »