On Purpose

10-letter word

And it’s not resolution.

This word is common. It is a simple word that carries a ton of weight. Nothing frilly. It won’t ever end up in a spelling bee contest. But I like it and it has gotten my attention this week.

May I present . . .


The dictionary defines it: to grasp the meaning or significance of something, to comprehend, to stand in the midst of.

Just this past week I received an email from a friend relaying to me a situation that she wanted kept confidential. I spent a few minutes thinking how best to reply to her email. My reply could have been several paragraphs, but somehow this short statement seemed more fitting.

              “I understand. And I’m praying for you.”

Did you know your understanding can be a gift you give to others? It conveys that you have taken the time to process, to carry their burden, to stand in the midst of their situation, good or bad?

Here is my favorite part of the word study. Want to guess what the antonym is for understand?


What if I would have scanned quickly through my friend’s email and MISSED the message?  Ouch!

Interesting that the Bible has a whole lot to say using the word “understand.” The words found in Psalm 119:125 are a perfect prayer.

        “I am your servant, give me discernment that I may understand your statutes (law).”

I think we are all on a quest for understanding. Understanding the world around us, understanding our roles, understanding our children… Why in the world are we here? And where are we ultimately going?

I love it that God has given us very specific written instructions on life, all found in the Bible. Oh that we won’t MISS it!

In Sparrow’s etymology of the word (nowhere in print) – the opposite of the word is:  under (over) – stand (sit)     

Oversit – hummph. Because you know that understand is a verb and that requires some sort of action, meaning, “Brown sparrow, you must get off your duff (er tail) and open the Bible with pen in hand, or answer that phone call, or meet for lunch with that prickly friend, or, or, or…”

Understand. A gift to give. God’s Word that is worth pursuing.


And…if you understand my chirpings, you have already given your gift for the day to me! It is a gift of friendship that I treasure.

Flying together,

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