COMMUNICATION, part 4
Many people participate in courses and treatments that turn out to be different than expected. One doesn’t get the right information in advance or maybe very limited information. Yoga is such an example. It is called gymnastic and relaxation and no one is saying that yoga is part of Hinduism. It is recommended by doctors and others within the medical ward and one thinks that it must be good then. Others are invited to parties at their working place and that sounds like a good idea. One can get to know the colleagues under different circumstances. You can be quite surprised if you attend and find out that there is a lot of alcohol and sometimes a show with striptease dancers. I am not saying that this is always the case, but it happens way too often. We are living in a society with lack of information and wrong information. The devil is an expert in these areas.
Even we Christians need to find out the content of courses and conferences before we sign up. When we read a book, how much do we know about the author? We Christians are often naïve and gullible. We might swallow poison without knowing. Ask the Lord for help to search for information in the right sources. A lot of what is written is not true and not in accordance with the Word of God.
This time I want to write about communication in connection with conflicts. I really wish that I could stand before you and practice role-playing. You must try yourself to imagine the different situations. We can start with children. They might have a strong self-will. How many times haven’t you been to a store and got irritated over a screaming child? They scream: “I want this, I want that.” If they do not get this and that, they might scram with even a louder voice. This might sometimes have a positive effect for the child. The parents get embarrassed and look carefully around at the other customers and give the child what he or she is crying for. One way of hindering this is to give the child a couple of alternatives before you leave home. When you come to the store, you do not wait too long before you buy the desired item for the child. Another alternative is to let somebody else take care of your child while you go shopping. It is not so useful to discuss with a small child. When the child is more mature, you can start giving good arguments. I do not believe that the child always should get everything, but I think that it is important to understand their emotions. There might be times when you should say: “I understand that you get angry, in despair, sorry (or other emotions). How can I help you? You might not be able to do exactly what the child wants, but say what you can and ask if that feels better. Physical contact might be helpful in such situations. Some children will push you away and you must respect that, but stay close anyway. When the situation is calm, ask if you can give the child a hug. I think that you understand that you activate the will of the child without compromising with your own. I believe this is a key in all kinds of communication.
If a husband and wife are shooting arrows towards each other, there will be a war without a solution. Are you interested in wars or in solutions? When you talk to each other, you can say how you, yourself experience the situation, but do not accuse the other and say that he or she is stupid or evil. If you only give an “I” message without accusation, the other person will be more willing to listen and see your point. It is important that we are willing to listen to the other part. This goes for any conflict. Both must get time to express one’s thoughts and feelings. Some need more time than others. I recommend you to confess your mistakes and sins if you see them, ask for forgiveness and forgive the other. Pray together to Him, loving both of you. The Helper can help you to communicate in a way that save you from conflicts.
How is it I the churches? I do experience a lot of divisions between individuals as well as between churches. In Matthew 5:23 it says that if we think that somebody has something against us, we should go to that person. I haven’t seen much of that. It is more common that one doesn’t sleep at night and starts having something against the other person. The Lord doesn’t want us to have anything against anybody. Talk together. That is not so easy you might say. It is rather unpleasant. You have The Helper. Jesus was lied about and He was crucified in a gruesome way, but He chose to forgive. We do not have another way either. Our emotions might need time to forgive, but we must start the process right away. Ask the Lord for help.
We Christians have a tendency to be jealous and compare with each other. If you are called to be a foot, do not try to become a mouth or heart. You will only succeed when you function in what God has called you to be.
We read in 1.Peter 4:8 that love covers a multitude of sins. I do not believe that it means that we should be blind and allow sin to flourish in the church. The letter to the Corinthians warns us against poison that can be like yeast. We should show God’s grace toward our sisters and brothers.
Love is an important ingredient in all communication.
This will be the last word on this subject this time.
BE VERY CLEAR IN YOUR COMMUNICATION AND BE WILLING TO LISTEN TO YOUR OPPOSITE PARTNER!