Communicate To Connect
Hard is communication…I mean communication is hard…see what I did there? For real though isn’t it interesting that as people who were created to be in relationship and in relationships we were created to communicate that we tend to do such a poor job of communicating, especially with the ones we most love. The good news is that in scripture we find that God has given us some great wisdom on how we can best communicate as followers of Christ.
In Proverbs 18:21 we are reminded that “The tongue has the power of life and death…” which I think is true, we have all had those moments where someone said something that made us feel invincible and other times when people said something to us that made us wish we were invisible! The point is that we must choose our words, tones, body language, and all other ways we communicate wisely.
In James 1:19 we are told, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” which is no easy task, I think my natural default is to do the opposite. That is why we need to have God to help us respond in love rather than reacting in anger because in James 3:9 we are also reminded that we use the same tongue to praise God that we use to curse those who are made in His image, which we should not do! As followers of Christ we should instead seek to lift and build others up like it says in Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Culture says communicate to be heard and to “win”. Christ says to communicate to love and serve. In Ephesians 4:2-3 we are told “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” What if the way we communicated was about loving and serving, about being humble and patient? That could change marriages and families. When we disagree, I should fight for unity - not victory.
Friends what if we began to model reconciliation and resolution and normalize forgiveness and grace. What if we lived out Colossians 3:12-13 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” What if followers of Jesus looked different than the rest of the word in the way we communicate and deal with conflict?
Friends studies have shown that couples that pray together really do stay together so lets begin to practice that in our marriages and families in general. When you pray together it helps take your focus off yourself or a fight and onto Christ instead. Let’s focus on Him so He can fix our problems and strengthen our relationships.
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. “ –Colossians 4:6