One of the chief sources of problems and difficulties that we will most regularly deal with in our lives, comes from communication, the lack thereof, or the misunderstanding thereof. Marriages fail because husbands and wives stop communicating. If they do communicate, they do so in the wrong way or they misunderstand each other to the point of assuming and behaving as individuals instead of “one flesh” as God intended (Gen. 2:23-25).
Issues with communication can happen anywhere and in any situation, even in the church. One preacher said tongue-in-cheek of the congregation where he worked that their unofficial motto was, “communication is overrated.” One can sympathize. Programs are offered, assumptions are made, parties are excluded, feelings are neglected and hurt, suspicions arise, divisions are created, and the work of Christ stalls. Why? Chiefly sometimes, because of failures to communicate.
Although it would be easy to write an article showing failures to communicate, we must turn our attention to God’s communication to us in His word to understand how to improve our relationships and to “consider one another” in this. Here are some practical scriptural questions to think about::
- If this is a matter of slight, sin, or perceived malicious intent that I feel someone has against me, have I gone to them personally and communicated that hurt to them (Matt. 18:15-17)?
- Have I communicated with longsuffering and kindness considering others and their feelings (Eph. 4:29-32)?
- Have I made assumptions about what other people know, do, or think without ever asking them (1 Cor. 2:10-11)?
- Do I have the law of kindness always on my lips (Prob. 31:26)?
- Do I assume the worst about others and what they think or what they do (1 Cor. 13:4-7)?
- Have I communicated with others the way that I want to be communicated with (Matt. 7:12)?
- Is there drama created by crossed-wires, a dropped ball, or grinding axes (James 3:1-18)?
Good communication is all of our responsibility! It is part of endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.