How to Improve Communication With a Better Relationship

Your feedback on last week’s survey was so helpful and taught me an important lesson in communication. You hear from me weekly. It’s important that I also hear from you.

You reminded me of how much we share in common. I nodded my head as I read your responses. What a comfort to know we travel this highway called life together, carrying similar hopes and dreams as we face our common obstacles.

The book titles almost tied in preference with The Unstoppables and God’s Unlikely Heroes slightly ahead. Thanks again for your input and kind remarks.

The anonymity of the surveys provided me with an unexpected insight into communication. I realized context and knowledge of the speaker play an important role in accurately interpreting ambiguous statements. For example, under “biggest concern in your life,” someone answered “Trump.”

Is this person:

  1. Worried about his political policies?
  2. Concerned for his wellbeing?
  3. Providing tongue-in-cheek sarcasm?

The context of the survey provides clues. But, only the person who wrote it knows the answer. This shows how context and relationship impact understanding not only between humans but also between us and God.

Context and relationship impact understanding not only between humans but also between us and God. #communication, #ChristianDevotional Share on X

Some words carry an emotional punch. As the name Trump evokes a strong response in many people so does the mention of Jesus. (Not to put them in the same category!)

This caused me to wonder how we can create a thirst in people to know Jesus instead of pushing Him away.

I realize that if someone wants to be offended, they need no provocation. But what about those who are put off by a false view of God. Is there a way to show them the real Jesus and to be sure we’re understanding Him?

I believe there is.

For Better Communication, Build a Better Relationship

  • With humans: When someone mentions something I need to rethink, I consider who’s saying it. The words of someone I trust hold more weight than those of someone who appears to be trying to win an argument or control me.
    Have I built a relationship with this person? Do I want their best, or am I trying to prove a point? How have I demonstrated that I care about them, not just my view?
  • With God: The better we know the heart and character of the Lord the more we trust the Bible and recognize when something is being twisted to suit someone’s agenda.
    I’ve heard “biblical” teachings that didn’t sit well. When that happens I seek the passage’s meaning in the context of God’s character and where and to whom it was originally written.
    The Bible reminds us, “The sum of your word is truth,” (Ps. 119:160 ESV). The devil took Scripture out of context to tempt Jesus. Knowing God’s heart and the context of a teaching protects us from misunderstanding it.

God sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but to save the world” (Jn. 3:17 GW).

Someone who doubts God’s intentions will naturally be more likely to challenge His teaching or be angered by what He’s said that challenges their lifestyle.
How well do I know the heart of God? Am I presenting the Jesus of the Bible or a religious or secular caricature?


The heart and character of both speaker and listener impact communication. The better we know Jesus, the more we’ll love and trust Him. The more we love and trust Him, the more we’ll follow His ways and reflect Him. This will transform our communication on both horizontal and vertical levels.

Question: What’s your best communication tip?



Cynthia Simmons recently interviewed me on her radio program “The Heart of the Matter.” You can listen here to our discussion on Rahab and faith here.

Congratulations to Sarah on winning a copy of Pure Hearted!

Photos by Quino Al and Ariel Lustre on Unsplash

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  1. Pam Ecrement

    This is an excellent post and full of good reminders. One thing I believe is helpful is being able to ask a follow-up question for clarification when I don’t know the person well OR I am unclear on the meaning. The example you cite from the survey might be a good example of that.

    I agree Trump and Jesus are not in the same category, but one similarity is that people either love, hate or fear him and that was the case with Jesus when He walked the earth.

    Have a great day, Deb!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Pam, following up with a question is a great way to be sure we’ve heard instead of just assuming. Thanks so much, Pam.

  2. Ann Musico

    “The heart and character of both speaker and listener impact communication.” Debbie this is SO true and often overlooked to our detriment. I also think really paying attention and listening – whether to a person or to what the Holy Spirit may be speaking to us – is very important. Too often we are distracted and if we don’t intentionally focus on what is being said we can take it out of context or misunderstand.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, really listening is an art I think most of us need to cultivate. It is easy to assume I know where you’re going with this and not hear the person. Thanks for this insight.

  3. Ann


    Loved your interview with Cynthia. There was much wisdom shared by both of you. Thanks very much for giving us the opportunity to hear the program.

    You are such a blessing and used mightily by our Lord!


    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks, Ann! I appreciate your encouragement.

  4. Horace Williams Jr.

    Wow. Communication is something I have focused on most of my adult life Debbie. Having been in sales and marketing for almost 20 years. I’ve learned the best communicators are the best listeners. It is especially important when you don’t know the individual well. However listening is key in every situation. Like you mentioned, understanding context of what is being said is vital. I believe to communicate well you have to be willing to understand your audience whether big or small. I am trying to practice listening for God’s wisdom before speaking. It has helped resolve and even avoid conflict or hurt feelings. Thank you for sharing the poignant insights Debbie. I hope you have a fantastic week and may God continue to bless you and yours in the New Year.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Horace, you added a very important ingredient to good communication: listen for God’s wisdom before speaking. If we did that, imagine how our relationships would change! I always enjoy hearing from you!

  5. Linda

    spending more time in His presence. Waiting and listening. Not always using bible study notes

    • Debbie Wilson

      Linda, those are great habits for hearing from God. Thanks so much!

  6. Ralph Smith

    I try to remember this daily. Listen.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Perfect, Ralph. Something I need to remember too, especially with those closest to me whom I think I know what they are saying.

  7. rebecca A'ming

    my best communication tip is to be a very posative and real listener as that speaks so much to another person when there listended to and really heard what there saying

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks, Rebecca. I agree.

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