Three Meter Zone | JD's Bunker | Poetry | Chapel | American Journal
Communication – The exchange of ideas, messages, or information, as by speech, signals, or writing. (Webster’s New Riverside Dictionary)
I believe I can safely say that I like people. I like relating to and with people by talking with them and listening to them. I can also safely admit that I’m not the greatest person on the list when it comes to conducting the art of communication – sometimes I only listen passively, interrupt another’s words (my wife will tell you I’m really bad at that), and periodically change the subject of discussion abruptly. However, I do not (I’m almost certain) dominate any conversations I participate in, i.e., do all the talking (those of you who know me, let me know if you disagree).
I didn’t provide that last bit of personal information in an attempt to cancel out my previously mentioned communication transgressions. I simply mentioned that as a lead in to a remarkable passage found in the Scriptures of God’s Holy Word, the Bible.
As it pertains to communication and doing – talking and listening, the Apostle James wrote, “My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” (James 1:19 – New Living Translation)
I’ve experienced a widespread exercising of the opposite of that verse in my brief 49 years of existence. For the most part, I’ve observed people (myself included) who are “slow” to listen, “quick” to speak, and get angry real fast. If we all could reverse those tendencies and adhere to James’ divinely inspired teaching, by and large we’d all be better in the area of communication.
Communication is necessary to obtain information.
Communication is essential to get/have understanding.
Communication is vital to relationships.
Communication to and with God is called prayer. However, prayer is a dialogue, not a monologue. Here is Scriptural validation:
“Call to me (God) and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3 – New American Standard Bible)
There is clear evidence that God’s directive for us to “call” (pray) to Him, and His promise that He will answer (respond) and tell (reveal and make known) us great and mighty (awesome and wonderful) things indicates dialogue.
Communication to and with others can be known and shown as care. However, care should be given as well as received. Again, Scriptural validation is provided:
“Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.” (Colossians 4:6 – The Message)
“Be pleasant and hold their interest when you speak the message. Choose your words carefully and be ready to give answers to anyone who asks questions.” (Colossians 4:6 – Contemporary English Version)
Again, clear evidence is shown in these two translations that we should communicate with others in a manner that conveys care for other members within the conversation.
We’ll not be able to get much information in communication if we’re talking twice as fast as we’re supposed to be listening. We’ll not acquire much understanding if our lips are vibrating twice as fast as our eardrums are reverberating, and we definitely will not have any real relationships with God or others if we’re cheetahs when it comes to talking and turtles when it comes to hearing.
I could’ve spoken on this subject much more. I could’ve covered active and empathic listening and a boat-load of other relative listening attributes and techniques, but I don’t want to do all the talking. I want to listen as you communicate back to me on this subject of communication (hopefully). I want to listen and hear faster, at least twice as much as I talk, and I hope you do too.
Let’s strive to have better communication with God and others. After all, there must have been a good reason why God gave us two ears and one mouth.
Copyright 2004 © Paul Schneidmill