UNDERSTANDING BY DOING
“If any man will do His will, he will understand
whether the teaching is from God” (John 7:17).
It does little good to attempt to prove by human reasoning and words that the teachings of Christ are derived from God. The way to prove this is by each of us to actually do the will of God by putting His words into action. Christ speaks of this saying: “Whoever does His will he will also understand.” When we offer our assistance to the poor, we will begin to understand God’s great generosity. When we show compassion to others we will understand God’s compassion toward us all. When we help others with gifts of food we will understand God’s care for the foods we need. If we make peace between others we will know how to become a son of God. We will learn of God’s forgiveness when we forgive others.
No man can ever understand that Christ’s teaching is from God unless he himself does the will of God. Doing God’s will is more difficult than reading about it in Scripture, but putting His words into our actions will bring about our understanding and it will become less difficult.
When we forgive other’s their offenses we will know God’s forgiveness of our offenses. The way into Paradise is accomplished by performance of the will of God and by keeping His commandments. When reading we should recognize the good and the evil, adopting the former and ridding ourselves of the latter. When we put God’s will into action we will see that it is the most important thing and leads to our understanding.
St. Basil the Great says:
“Purity of life is necessary in order to recognize what is hidden from us in Holy Scripture.” We lose a lot when we fail to put God’s commandments into action in our lives, and in failing to do this many things will remain hidden from us in Holy Scripture. If we weep for the sake of God we will know that God is consolation. God desires that we are convinced of His divine teaching by our actions.
Those of us who seek to understand Holy Scripture by reading and contemplation will better reach our objective by the putting what we read into action which will increase our comprehension. Doing the will of God will not only lead to a better understanding but will also lead to the salvation of our souls in everlasting life. The Lord does not desire to convince us by the easiest means, but by the most difficult, that we may be convinced by placing what we read into action.
In order to accomplish anything good requires first our reading and understanding and then our putting it into action. We have this choice and although it is the best way it is more difficult and involved than just reading about it. However taking action is the best method of understanding as we can see in everyday life. For example, we can read in a book concerning the repair of a lawnmower and then put what we read into action by doing the actual repair. Having done this we will better comprehend a clearer meaning of the text in the book.
As you need to read about the lawn mower to fix it, it is even more necessary to read about and understand God’s will by reading and absorbing what He commands. God speaks through Holy Scripture and we should read them each day of our lives. For we cannot properly do the will of God without thorough understanding.
As we comprehend the will of God we will better understand who God is and the wondrous things He has prepared for those who know Him and love Him. For this is beautiful knowledge and elevates us to the realm of joy and happiness. We must learn and put into action his commandments for this should be what our lives are about. Our lives ought to demonstrate that we are different than others. For when we keep God’s commandments our lives change and the darkness that surrounds us becomes a brilliant light which our soul radiates to those around us filling them with light.