The Art Of Communication
by Patricia Ouellette
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Communication is one of the major forms of giving. Communication is as important to our wellbeing as the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. It is the vital key for a successful relationship. It is how we convey our thoughts, feelings, emotions, observations and beliefs.
Through conversation we can share, instruct, give, counsel and seek. If we do not communicate, how can others know what we like or dislike, what we want or don’t want, what we choose or do not choose. If we do not communicate well, we can also be giving the wrong information and this can cause friction and misery for others and ourselves.
Communication is something we have been taught from before our birth. Our parents would talk to us while we lay curdled up snuggled in our mother’s womb and every day of our lives after our births. We are taught how to communicate at school and at church, in play and in everything we do and everywhere we go. But how many of us actually stop to think of what we are doing with our conversation or the way we communicate.
I have always had a problem with communication. For years I would lay blame everywhere but where the problems really does lie. That is with me! I have finally learned that you can’t lay the blame for your lack of communication skills on others. If someone didn’t understand what I said I would lay blame on him or her, by saying, “You are not listening!” “You never hear a word I say!” Yes I am guilty of many things and I write this article from experience. I know now, that it was my own ignorance, pride, anger, hurt etc that has caused so many problems in all my relationships: and yes that includes my relationship with God. We can put the blame on anything and everything or everyone. Ultimately, by doing so, we are being dishonest with everyone including ourselves.
In my life I have had a love for one passage in the bible, and it wasn’t until I started this article that I realised how much I do everything to the contrary of that passage in the form of communication.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
1 Corinthians 13 in reality is a fantastic guide to becoming Christ-like. Not only in action and in life, but also in how we converse. We can dissect this passage and place it into the context of communication. If we converse with the love that Paul describes in 1 Corinthians we would be a lot better off. Paul also tells us in 1 Corinthians 16:14 “Do everything in love”, which backs up what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Do everything in love this includes communication.
I am guilty of doing the direct opposite to the love that Paul has described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. I can blame shyness, insecurities, lack of self-esteem, hurt, pain and a multitude of other things, but ultimately the buck stops at my own doorstep and no where else. It is up to me to correct the wrongs within me, I can’t ask my husband to correct them for me nor my kids or my parents and friends. It is all up to me. Though I admit my own weaknesses, I know that I am not alone in this area. Many are afflicted with the same or similar problems. I pray that by sharing my faults and weaknesses that at least one person will see the truth in these words, witness conviction and then seek deliverance to gain salvation in Christ’s name. Do not expect salvation and deliverance to instantly change your communicational habits, it won’t; however with the power of the Lord, through prayer (communication) and faith we can do and achieve anything. Jesus told us in Matthew 19:26 “With God all things are possible”. This includes healing in the area of communication.
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Oh, the conviction! Thank you (I think!) -- no really, thank you for sharing from your heart this clear exhortation. God bless you!