Our definitions of what we interpret words as make up how we see the world around us. Have you ever had a discussion with someone going back and forth, only to find out you were talking about the same thing all along? Or maybe you are having a disagreement with someone, and you find out it is because you both have a different interpretation of the same word?! I have. Several times.
This is entirely frustrating. You would think that a word like Love or loyalty, or respect would have one definition. And it does, we have dictionaries for that. But what is frustrating is that each person in this world takes that definition and interprets how that might play out in the world- in situations or in our environments. I have come to understand that our interpretations of a word make our perceptions of how we see the world, and thus how we respond/act.
Now if I am ever in a disagreement with someone, I do back to the basics and ask them their interpretation of the word on the topic we are discussing. This helps me understand their paradigm and how they see the world. I can then understand their heart and how they see things and where they are coming from and then be able to better communicate. You would not think this has to happen, but many of arguments have come over different views of the same word.
Here is the lesson I learned the hard way
If you have your one view point on what a word is or means and how that might look in your world, you will completely miss it happening all around you. This is because you are only looking for it your one way. That might not make sense yet, but I have some very good examples. Lets talk about some of these words:
In Christian religions the word priestcraft has a definition that is talked about as “Priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world”. What would this actually look like in the world? If they preach and receive money for their services, then they are guilty of priestcraft? And if you do not see this specific scenario happening, then there is no priestcraft going on?
If you stop to think about it…what is gain? Gain, yes can be money… but it can also be sex, marriage, position, respect, a promotion, praise- anything that you gain. If gain can be any of these, then what about the preacher teaching? Well usually he is preaching about gospel, religious or spiritual natured things… correct? So really the definition of priestcraft is anyone who uses religion, the bible or spiritual things to get money, sex, position, respect etc. In more simple terms priestcraft is- using God for selfish reasons.
Now, if you look around your life with a better understanding of what priestcraft is, you will see that priestcraft is happening all around you! It is much more common that you thought. And you had missed it the whole time because off your definition of the word were looking for those preaching about Jesus and getting paid for it.
I go more in depth on this word in this post: Priestcraft
Our one view definitions limit how we see the world
Lets do another word:
The same is with service. You might have your definition of what you think service is and think it has to be helping someone outside of you. Maybe like: On the side of the road, helping in a yard, taking a meal or doing extra work for your co worker. If your definition is about helping someone outside of you, then you will miss all the service that you are already doing. Instead if you change your definition of service to: Doing something for others that is good for them, and is good for me. This way both are blessed. If you realize that your significant other, children, family are all considered service, then you realize we are all doing service every day. You then will see how much service you already do!
On the other hand when you realize you are helping someone at a loss to you, or you “getting the short end of the stick”, and being taken advantage of is called servitude. You then realize this is not what you want. You did it thinking you SHOULD or HAD to because you have to serve. When you walk away feeling drained that is because it is servitude, not service.
I am ever finding words that I come to see, I only have one specific view of what it means and would look like. The next word is my most recent that I have shifted on.
I have found the same thing with miracles- specifically the blind receiving their sight. You are thinking “well for this miracle to occur, it would look like someone with spiritual authority and power pronouncing a blessing, and miraculously they can see” or “spiting in the dirt and making mud and then putting it on someones eyes.” If this is the way you are looking for this miracle to happen…then you would miss it when it happens another way.
Our perceptions and understanding about words greatly affect how we see the world, and thus how we respond (not react) to our environment and the people in it.
The light bulb going on
This is what has dawned on me in the last few months. I realized how many miracles I miss because I have one understanding of what makes a miracle. I thought it had to be dramatic, spiritual, and miraculous. This is my story of how my blindness was healed! And it was a miracle! It then makes me think about the miracle of raising the dead, the deaf to hear. Is raising the dead only in the physical? Is there another view on what it would look like when someone is raised from the dead?! It gets me thinking.
I was in 4th grade when I first got glasses. I finally got hard contacts in 6th grade because my eyes were getting worse. My eyes were 350 and 400, very bad for being so young. I have had contacts ever since then. I remember the day I got them. The world did not move outside of me like it did with glasses. I did not have to move my head to see on my right or left, I now had peripheral vision! Looking up at the tree in front of me, and I could see the leaves all the way up in the very top. I could see the trees on the mountains way out in the distance. It was amazing and my eyes filled with tears.
Contacts were great, but having them so long you start to realize the down side. Anything that gets in your eyes, feels like your eyeball is getting scratched out. You can not see anything when you wake in the morning. I could not see my kids faces when I looked down at them, I did not know if they were sad, mad, or happy. Traveling you had to take all of the cleaners, and cases, and glasses just in case they broke or you lost one. They would suction cup to my eye if my eyes were dry and it was painful to try and get the edge to pop off. I had prayed for a miracle, one of the miracles you read about. Tried to manifest it, but I was looking for it to happen a certain way and it just was not happening.
Then one day, I got my miracle…
See Part II- Sight To The Blind That They Might See