The second of the Four Reliances is "Rely on the meaning, not the words." I think this may be harder for some of us than others. Since the deeper wisdom of dharma is ineffable, usually anything we can say about it falls short of being absolutely true.
For this reason, texts often are a kind of barrier gate. We tend to rely on words to learn, but until we begin to understand what cannot be said we won't understand the words. Appreciating this is relying on the meaning, not the words.
This may seem a bit off the wall, but when I think of the difference between meanings and words I think of the poet Dylan Thomas and what he said about words:
"There they were, seemingly lifeless, made only of black and white, but out of them, out of their own being, came love and terror and pity and pain and wonder and all the other vague abstractions that make our ephemeral lives dangerous, great, and bearable. Out of them came the gusts and grunts and hiccups and heehaws of the common fun of the earth; and though what the words meant was, in its own way, often deliciously funny enough, so much funnier seemed to me, at that almost forgotten time, the shape and shade and size and noise of the words as they hummed, strummed, jigged and galloped along."
He's saying words have a deep evocative power that goes beyond their dictionary meanings. One of Thomas's poems that, for some reason, has been stuck in my head for years begins "To-day, this insect, and the world I breathe." I don't know what the English lit professors say about that poem, but what this line evokes for me is life and fecundity and the present moment. But in the context of the rest of the poem we see the word "insect" also evoking plague and decay.
As I read it, the poet sees himself as a quivering bit of life caught in a moment between an unknowable past and eventual death. At least, this is what the poem evokes for me. However, a hopelessly literal reader might get hung up on wondering what species of insect the poet was writing about.
In reading sutras or other dharma texts, you don't want to be too loose with the meanings of words. You might end up like a fellow I met once who was convinced the Diamond Sutra was a prophecy of the birth of Jesus. Seriously.
In other words, you need to take care you are not projecting your current understanding on to the words, or make them say what you want them to say, but instead read them honestly. On the other hand, if you get too caught up in a literal reading you are likely to not see what the words are pointing to. And keep in mind that English translations often distort what the original was meant to evoke.