Communication, it’s a tricky thing.
Over the past several weeks, I have had several conversions with friends, reminding (and re-reminding) me of the importance effective communication.
Both how we communicate, and what we perceive others are trying to communicate largely depends on our life experiences and how we see the world. Oftentimes, what you say, and what others hear are different… Bummer.
What are you sinking about?
I love this commercial. I find it tragically funny. In this commercial,what the German Coastguard hears and what is actually being expressed are worlds of different. Lately, I have been “sinking” about this, wondering how often do I gravely misunderstand the message others around me are trying to get across?
How do I get better at this? I want to be a person who honors others through my words and through my actions. I really try to speak well of others, both while they are present, and while there are absent. I want to become a better listener, someone who really hears what the other has to say, not simply waiting for a pause in their speech, hoping to add my two cents. But let’s face it, sometimes, relationships are just plain hard.
We misunderstand each other. We get upset when they don’t live up to our expectations. We say things we don’t mean, we do things we regret.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
False. The scary thing about words is they’re permanent. What I say, what I do communicates something. Although it can be apologized and forgiven for, it cannot be retracted. Scary thought.
This is where grace comes in. This is where I am thankful for Jesus. I know I am good at screwing things up. I’m one of those people who just naturally says whatever’s on their mind. I am beginning to learn how important it is to clarify with others, to be quick to apologize, and quick to forgive.
Jesus declared that loving him with all we are, and loving others as we love ourselves as the greatest commandment. He doesn’t separate loving Him with loving others. Loving people well is actively loving Jesus. This command isn’t based on circumstance or feelings, but rather who God is and the fact that he loved us first. How I treat others, how I communicate with them should ultimately point them towards Christ. If it doesn’t, there’s something wrong.
Jesus, teach me how to be a better communicator. I want to honor you with my words and my actions. Help me see others through your eyes, and to treat them the way you would treat them. You are the creator of expression, and the author of life. Go before me, mold me, give me grace.