Sunday, August 28, 2011

A communication gap

Have you ever had a conversation and then wondered, "Okay, what in the world just happened? Did they not get what I said?" A few days ago a friend sent me a text that included a beautiful picture of her riding her glorious new horse. At that same time I had just posted a new picture on Facebook. About five minutes later I get a text from an unknown number. I read the text and I think, "What in the world?" I receive a few more. I finally sent one back asking, "Who is this?" Well, come to find out, this person was a friend of my friend and didn't realize her texts were going to everyone. Now, we all had a good laugh about this once we all figured out what was going on, but at first I was scared. Okay, I might have been just downright freaked out. Once you have had a stalker, you just look at everything with question.

The thing is, this was a miscommunication. Here we have two sweet ladies, yes, I guess I just called myself sweet. lol Two ladies who have never met, but just about had differing opinions of one another just because a text had confused us. How many times do we do this in life? We make snap judgements without first stepping back and thinking. We kind of half way listen as one is speaking to us and we come out with a complete different story. It is just like that childhood game where one begins a sentence and spreads it to the next and so on. Soon, as that sentence gets to the end of the line it has changed fifty times.

We hear gossip and instead of stopping it right there, we listen intently. Ever think about that gossip we hear? If it is about someone we love. A family member or a friend we stop it. In fact, we stand up for that person right then, but let it be someone we really don't like or someone we really don't know and we are ready to hear more. This is how so many hearts have gotten hurt. Lost friendships and  problems within  family often comes from miscommunication. I know too well. I have been on both ends of that  miscommunication and nothing good ever comes of it. Only sorrow.

This happens all the time with our husbands. Okay, for starters, men and women talk differently. Ever think about how men give directions? They go by roadsigns and mile markers. Women go by landmarks. Turn left at JCPennys, then make a left at Kohls and go down to Starbucks and you are there my friend! But even in directions we can have miscommunication. A right can be a left and a left can be a right. All it takes is one wrong turn and you find yourself lost.

We too can have miscommunication with God's Word. Ever read God's Word and try to turn it around to where it fits you? We leave out what is pointing us away from our temptation and reading something making it look as if what we are doing is right. Isn't that was happens in miscommunication? Something of importance is left out. The truth!

Oh how we love to take a piece of information and add to it. Oh, if it is about us, we might just leave out a few facts. There is miscommunication all around us. You see it on Facebook all the time. People get mad because they read something that they assume is about them.

You might find yourself on the first date and your waiting on the gentleman to arrive at the restaurant, only he never shows. He too is across town waiting on the girl he thinks could be the one. Somewhere along the way miscommunication happened. This is where grace comes in. We gotta be able to correct ourselves. Yep, when we have been misinformed we gotta forgive and when we are the one who has given out wrong information we need to correct that and be accountable.

There are a lot of  people running around our circles who are hurting because of miscommunication. A while back I just about lost a few friendships. Friendships that were meaningful to me. Why? All because of miscommunication. Stories told that were never true. It took me humbling myself before a friend to find out the truth of the matter. There is peace in truth. There is harmony. If we could just all stop being busybodies life would run more smoothly. People would smile more often. As my pastor says, "If you are not part of the problem or the solution just hush your mouth." It's none of our business. If it deals with gossip, we should concentrate more on what comes out of our mouths and a little less on what comes by our ears.

Might we take more time listening as a friend is sharing a need, as a husband is giving direction, and most importantly, as God is speaking to our heart. In shifting our focus on to what is being said than what we want to hear we will surely find ourselves in the perfect place of where we are to be. And yes, may we find ourselves not so tuned in when gossip appears, but distance ourselves from all that behavior so we don't find ourselves lost in regret.

Communication is a wonderful thing, but we must be wise about what we say and what we hear. We don't want to repeat something that will bring another down or cause one to stumble. If it cannot bring praise to God, than don't repeat it all.

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and redeemer." Psalm 19:14

"He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter." Proverbs 11:13

"A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends." Proverbs 16:28


"Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear." Ephesians 4:29


"A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1


Words are powerful and we must be careful and wise in how and when we use them. Much of the time we would be wise not to share our opinion in a matter. When it comes to that communication gap of misunderstandings, don't just assume, go and make right what has been wronged. All it takes is one person to be the bearer of peace in a situation that could drastically change over just one more spoken word. Lets just learn to take more time thinking before we speak and open our heart to listen more intently so we don't miss out on those important moments one has taken the time to share with us.

Much of our miscommunication is laughable, just like the texts I received. We just can't jump the gun and be ready to assume. Take time to get all the information before making a snap judgement. You just might miss out on something really special because you weren't willing to listen or too willing to speak.








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