Happy day to you! It’s so good to have you to write for and to share all these beautiful facets of joy. I’ve been thinking that this will definitely be a series in my next book in the Destination? Joyful! ™ series, A Cup of Joy for the Day! Grab your coffee and your Red Strand of Faith and let’s get to the third sacrifice, communication!
As I wrote that word, I did a mental uh-oh, something tells me we may be on this one for a while as well, but, hey, that’s okay. There’s no law that says we have to get through a series in a New York minute, right? Let’s enjoy the ride.
So before we get to the actual sacrifice of communication and why it is deemed one of the Seven Sacrifices to Joy, let’s go and explore the word “communicate.” Now this word, and all its forms, shows up in the Promises of God, the instructions by God, and the Love Letters from God a total of 14 times and that’s significant enough to be a bit intriguing to me. So before I go on to the actual “sacrifice” of communication, I want to research this word a little bit. Why? Well, because as I look at the Greek Concordance under communicate, communicated and communication, beside each context is a different number which means a slightly different meaning so my curiosity is getting the best of me.
So many of us don’t like this subject; in fact, many shirk away from it which is usually because of a lack of understanding and/or a bad experience with it, but please, stay with me and let’s have some fun with this word. Who knows, it may stir up our joy and make the actual “sacrifice of communication” a bit easier to process.
Okay, so I got the chills because this Greek translation sounds like a word I’ve heard in the church for quite some time, especially Calvary Chapels: “koinoneo,” pronounced “koy-no-neh-o,” and means to share with others, to distribute, to be partakers! Look at that word again because if I were to swap that last “eo” for an “ia,” which is the word I hear so often with Calvary Chapel, the translation would mean fellowship, communion, distribution and contribution!
In English, that says communication is a two-way street with giving and receiving involved!
Have you ever participated in a conversation where one person was doing all the talking and pretty soon your ears were just overflowing and needing a break because the person was talking non-stop, and usually about themselves, and offering no break for you to distribute or contribute to the conversation? Well, that is not true “koinoneo”!
True communication does however require that I wait to speak until I truly understand what the other person is trying to say. Oftentimes, that may require me to have to ask questions along the way to understand their perception, their point of view, and that’s okay. Here’s the key: truly listening to the other person does not mean that you agree with him. That reminds me of something that happened while sitting down in the airport a couple of months ago waiting to be called to board the plane to Austin, Texas. It was an incredibly awkward but insightful moment involving this young couple that I couldn’t help but overhear. I really wasn’t intentionally eaves dropping! 🙂 Their tones revealed that they were in the midst of a “moment” and several times I heard her say: “I just need you to understand my perspective”; and “I just want you to look at it from my point of view.” She must have pleaded this request in all its possible ways – at least seven times – and the guy was growing increasingly frustrated but remaining pretty calm.
Do you know how hard it was for me to sit there, drink my water and eat my bag of Chex mix – my lunch since the lines for any and all nutritious foods were almost out to the entrance of security—and not say a word? I wanted so very badly to lean into the young guy, whom I was sitting right next to because of there being more people than seats, and just whisper, “It is really okay to give yourself permission to see it from her perspective. It doesn’t mean you agree; but oh the value you will give to her and the quicker you will resolve your apparent conflict.” When we validate, there’s room to negotiate!
True listening doesn’t require that you agree but it is part of good communication! And the more we listen, the more we learn.
A very good friend and fellow board member calls this, with a sweet smile on his face, the big ears/little lips syndrome! God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason: He wanted us to truly embrace, endure and enjoy koinoneo!
Paul speaks about this very thing in Galatians 6:6: Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. We can’t learn if we’re not listening, and we don’t have to limit this to being taught the word, but the principle is the same and we see that true koinoneo in the “share in all good things.”
Join me tomorrow for more diamonds behind communication that will illuminate in our understanding of a Sacrifice of Communication.