Thanks for taking the time to make the time to have Coffee Hour with me! Today we are returning to the Seven Sacrifices to Joy, and we are still on the third sacrifice of communication. Oh, what a gift … and a curse communication can be! Grab your coffee and your SOF (Strand of Faith) and let’s go tie some knots in our faith.
There are only 14 references to communicate/communication in the Bible, and its major translation means fellowship, but in many of those references unity is mentioned and so is conflict. I could feel you bristle as you read that word “conflict,” but we’ll talk about that in a minute. 🙂 Unity is as a result of good and effective communication while conflict is as a result of not-so-good communication. Could this be why we are instructed in James 1:19 to be slow to speak? And look at all the instructions in Proverbs about holding our tongues, watching our words, etcetera. Did you get any sort of visual for either of those? Because I did and it was pretty funny!
For James 1:19 I get this visual of an extremely fast-paced runner of life being held back ever so firmly to do everything in slooooooooooow motion! Oh, what a great reminder, especially when it comes to handling conflict, or confronting someone when their words are speaking differently than their actions. See, for the sake of the greater good, in an effort to not kick the bird out of the nest, so to speak, we must be contemplative in our approach, not as though we are sneaking up on them and trying to scare them so they fall out of the nest, or the church, but gentle and thoughtful and in love expose what has been revealed that they may be restored to abiding in the Bride of Christ.
How about the visual of holding your tongue? Go ahead, grab your tongue and look at yourself! Sorry, but that’s worth a giggle or two and definitely brought back a memory or two, which I’ll share in a moment.
Proverbs 12:18 says that reckless words pierce like a sword! Ouch! I know that that thing in me called a tongue has caused more damage than any other weapon known to man! Oh, how many times have I wished that I would have held my tongue before letting some incredibly ugly words come out of my mouth! Have you ever regretted something you said almost as soon as you said it? Isn’t the feeling horrible, like a lead anchor in your heart pushing you down!
I can remember the aftermath of an argument with my second husband – third time’s a charm! We were sitting on the floor, calmly talking through an argument and discovering exactly where it had derailed into an all-out ugly fire! I was really listening to him … that didn’t happen often; trust me, and all of a sudden he said, “Give me your tongue.”
I looked at him, dumbfounded, shook my head to see if anything rattled differently and would echo a different statement and all I could say was, “What?”
He repeated himself.
I stuck my tongue out and he gently grabbed it between his thumb and index finger and the words he said etched in my heart and have remained there: “Of all the hurtful things you do, this hurts the worst.”
All I could do was burst into tears. He wasn’t trying to shame me; he was simply letting me know that every time I opened my mouth to hurl swords of insult, words that cut him down, that hurt more than anything else I had done.
Can you think of a time when words seared painfully into someone’s soul?
Yes, conflict can be a character builder, building up both the offended and the offender … but only if we are slow to communicate, step back before we jump forward.
Join me tomorrow for more on this huge subject of communication.