When I write an article usually I post it very quickly. Unless, I feel the Holy Spirit is telling me the time is not right so I refrain. Recently I have written two articles (one is on how many of us have polluted the true meaning of Easter) without publishing either one of them and now I am on my third. Maybe the time will be right for this one.

Maybe I am prompted to share my thoughts in this article because of the positive story my wife told me about the growth and great communication that is going on within her small group of young struggling mothers to be. Many are immature, do not know Jesus and have difficult, sometimes abusive, life circumstances in their past. It is called Embrace Grace and is a 12 week program my wife heads up that involves young single mothers to be. It is a type of Saturday morning Bible study where the ladies are introduced to the grace of God, how to navigate the stresses and problems of being pregnant, bonding, stabilizing their lives, and the value of knowing, accepting and following Jesus among many other things.

The point I want to make is that after 10 weeks of this latest session one of the ladies said, via their group text, she was struggling. Immediately the other moms to be (one already had children) started communicating with the struggling mom to be with encouragement, suggestions, and advice. They showed growth, ability to bond with others, concern and compassion, and most importantly the value of encouraging each other with positive and clear communication.

Or maybe I am thinking about the way communication is presented on the internet that is sometimes total lies, distortion, false innuendos, fear mongering, and the unabashed desire to incite people to believe their side while secretly demonizing the other side. Political lies have been around forever. When I was a kid I remember listening to a debate between Senators Barry Goldwater President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 on the radio. I also remember reading the newspaper the next day and know first hand what they published were lies and distortions concerning what Senator Goldwater said the night before. Why did they do it, there are many answers? Could it be Johnson was a good old boy from Texas and they liked him while Goldwater was a Jew and we could not have a Jew for president? Not much has changed. The distortions, lies, and deception printed and in today’s technology are no different. Most times it is still slanted and inaccurate.  

However, I would like to focus on us Christians and how we communicate. We should be the best communicators because we have the best communicator as our role model, Jesus. In the Scriptures He has provided for us information on how to communicate, how to communicate with our friends and our enemies. But do we listen and follow His expert advice?  Many times no. And that is what I would like to address, His children and the pitiful way we communicate or not communicate.

Let me give you an example of some of the problems I have seen between Christians over the past 20+ years I have been in the mission field. And it is just not me that sees the problems, hypocrisy, pride, jealousy, and meanness involved in the communication between Christians, God see it and so do the non-believers and others around us who are watching. And I am sure you also have stories to tell that are similar to mine.  

On some of the articles I posted in the past I have had responses where I am told I was cold hearted, wrong, unfeeling, misquoted scripture and even told I quoted the Bible to much. Did they communicate and discuss this with me, no, they just said take me off your list. Numerous times I have seen Christians that have had disagreements with others that have caused a rift in the friendship. But when ask what was the matter the response was “nothing is wrong” all the while everyone knows that something was not right. I have personally listened to pastors tell the congregation “if you have a concern or want to advise us of something send an email and let us know.” Numerous times I have and even asked for a reply but never received one.

A major problem I see that happens inside and outside of church is that when people discuss or argue an issue many times they listen to defend and not listen to understand. In society, I can understand but within the body of Christians it should never happen. I could go on but I am sure you have seen or been involved in the problems that arise when people do not communicate well.

I will leave you with great advice and things to consider concerning communicating, understanding, and listening. Consider:

Eph. 4:29, Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

James 1:19, Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

Eph. 4:15, Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

Matt. 7:24, Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

Proverbs 2:2, Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;

Eph. 4:18, They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.

Prov. 3:13, Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding,

We are called to be truthful when we answer questions, listen to understand, be compassionate, communicate honest feelings, and be tentative to their concerns when interacting with others and show love even in he heat of a combative discussion. Meditate on what He calls us to do when communicating and if  we practice and follow His commands people will see us in a different light.   

Remember it is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt! (My modern translation of Proverbs 17:28)

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