One of the most fun things to hear is a child reciting song lyrics, because you know that inevitably they will have misunderstood some of the lines. And honestly, which one of us hasn’t ever misunderstood the words of one song or another?
In the 70’s there was a song called “Drift Away,” and when I was a kid, I thought the guy was saying, “Give me the Beach Boys and free my soul, I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away.” It took a long time before I realized it said “Give me the beat, boys.” One of the most famous examples is Credence Clearwater Revivals’ “Bad Moon Rising.” You know the line, “there’s a bathroom on the right,” except it actually says, “there’s a bad moon on the rise.”
This misunderstanding of song lyrics isn’t confined to popular music. I knew a little boy who was scared of angels because of the song which said, “the angels pecked on me from heaven’s open door.” Some people have wondered why we sing “peas, perfect peas.” Others question “Who is Father Along, and why will he know all about it?” The list of misheard hymn lyrics is actually quite extensive.
When children misunderstand things, it is cute. When adults misunderstand things, it’s not.
If you are married, then you have had this discussion: “I told you ___________.” “Wait. I thought you meant ____________.”
I guarantee that the response from your spouse wasn’t, “Awww, that’s so cute that you misunderstood.” Many times, the response is “No, I said this,” or some other such thing that shows they don’t find your misunderstanding cute, humorous, or anything remotely like it.
There are so many areas in which we need to work harder to understand.
Most importantly, we need to work harder to understand God’s word. Most of the religious division in the world comes from people misunderstanding parts of God’s word—sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally, and sometimes it is just because they don’t bother to try. But wouldn’t it be great if the religious division disappeared and we all began to unite with a proper understanding of God’s word?
We need to work harder to understand our spouses—what they think, what they are saying, what they mean, what they need. A large number of the arguments between spouses are because they weren’t on the same page [aka didn’t understand where the other was coming from]. Wouldn’t it be great if the arguments in your marriage began to disappear?
We are going to misunderstand things from time to time. Let’s do our best to make sure that it isn’t for lack of trying.