I often think I have arrived at a pinnacle that says I understand how I am communicating and how others hear me. I continue to learn and apply lessons in communicating so I have arrived, haven’t I? In delusion I carry on, acting as if everything is clear. If I hear reality talking the message back it’s very direct; nothing is clear, nothing is simple, and we are confused!
Some things work in keeping communication alive. Live you beliefs and values; people understand this far more than either they realize. Keep your explanations simple and to the point. Complex value systems, theology webs, and intricate priorities laid out with conditional statements are rarely relevant to the person struggling to be fully and completely engaged with life. Come with hope, not doom. If there is a consistent thirst shared by everyone I have met, it is the thirst for hope in the future. Is there, can there, will there be hope? Embedding this in one’s message always helps the listener hear the full story.
Yet a simple story, presented with hope, and consistent with the life presenting picture isn’t enough. Agendas, conflicting values and priorities, and assumptions all work to confuse the listener. It is as if confusion reigns no matter what transpires.
A story of Jesus teaching in the Temple describes a similar sequence. “He gave this speech in the Treasury while teaching in the Temple. No one arrested him because his time wasn't yet up. Then he went over the same ground again. ‘I'm leaving and you are going to look for me, but you're missing God in this and are headed for a dead end. There is no way you can come with me.’” (John 8.20, 21)
Even with the agendas and deaf soul the process of communicating is still important. Miracles can and do occur! People may, God willing, hear through and in spite of the deaf souls. The life we live today makes a difference. Our words are important. The hope we have is priceless. What happens next? Your decision and mine.
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