When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart… Matthew 13:19
Jesus illustrated with the parable of the sower the relevance of understanding and discipline to being fruitful. The seeds that fell along the path signifies when God’s word (despite its potential) is ineffective in the life of the hearer due to lack of understanding while those sown on rocky ground represent when His word suffers a similar fate due to a deficiency in understanding required for fruitfulness.
Understanding is different from knowledge though both are often used interchangeably. This is why sometime when you present information and you’re told, “I know,” you respond, “you do not understand”. You can demonstrate knowledge through accumulated information, but cannot prove understanding without the correct interpretation, knowing the cause, intent and probably the implication of the information. Knowledge (irrespective of volume) is unprofitable if it doesn’t solve problems. Intuitively, knowing that Jesus is the Savior is unfruitful unless you make Him Lord of your life.
If the story of the seed that fell along the path and the rocky ground is unfortunate, that of the seed sown among thorns is agonizing. It is a case of sound understanding yet a missed potential due to lack of discipline; giving way to distractions and eventually unfruitfulness.
The true potential of humans is represented in the seed planted on the good soil that produces fruit up to a hundred fold. I wish I could say I have attained this height but I have not. Let the Lord grant you and I the grace to seek Him continually for divine understanding and willingness to reject the “freedom” of this age, many of which are lawful but leads to spiritual destitution.