Devotion in Motion: To understand all is to forgive all

9 ¶ For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;  Colossians 1:9  NKJV

By Bro. John L. Cash

Well, it’s good to be back with you all after the summer break. When I first became the Country Preacher Dad, I wrote columns all year round. But then my editor, Gwen Rockwood, suggested I take summers off. I think that’s a good thing for everybody. Readers get to read some old columns they might have missed the first time, and I get a chance to do some stuff so I have things to write about. Everybody wins.

There’s an expression that’s made a comeback lately: “The More You Know.” I’m not sure where it originated, but I know they used it for those public service announcements between Saturday cartoons on NBC back in the 1990s. In 30 seconds the narrators gave us some marvelous food for thought. And they pointed out that the more that you know, the better your life will be. That’s why I encourage young people to study hard in school and to learn as much as they possibly can.

There’s a  Christian version of “The More You Know.” It’s found in the following proverb: “To understand all is to forgive all.” There’s a lot of truth in these words. If you really comprehend where someone else is coming from, there’s a good chance your understanding will lead you to forgive others for their failings. Allow me to demonstrate.

When Susan and I were first married, one of my uncles told his wife she was “a good looking heifer.” In our family at the time, the older men used “heifer” as a term of endearment. (I have actually heard Gwen Rockwood’s father, Billy Rule, use this exact same phrase in referring to a remarkable woman.) Susan (having been raised nowhere near a farm) told me this was really a very rude thing for a man to say. After all, why would a man refer to his wife as a cow?

Later on, I shared Susan’s concerns with my elderly uncle. His answer surprised me. “Has Susan ever looked at a heifer? My goodness, there’s nothing prettier than a heifer….”

Sometime later I showed Susan a photograph of a heifer.  It was a lovely animal. And Susan said, “I get it now. That thing is gorgeous. There really isn’t anything prettier than a heifer.” That noble face. The big, brown eyes. That auburn, wavy hair. You see, to understand all is to forgive all.

So, this week, let’s ask the Lord to give us insight into the lives and experiences of others. Maybe by walking a mile in the other fellow’s shoes we’ll have more compassion and patience in dealing with his foibles.

But, on the other hand, in this present political and social climate, I DO NOT recommend calling any woman a heifer. A heifer is a beautiful animal, but you’re still not going to get by with it.  “The more you know….” 😊

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 34 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He’s a retired Mississippi public schoolteacher with grown sons, and is now a stay-at-home-grandpa. He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in a brick house in town (where it’s been as hot as the blue-blazes this week.) You can send him a note at