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:
- Worried about his political policies?
- Concerned for his wellbeing?
- 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 Click To Tweet
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!