- Communication makes a relationship; communication breaks a relationship.
Communication has to change as we grow in a relationship. It must change with the dynamic of the relationship.
But it is important that we control the change.
The scripture lesson says quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to wrath. We too often reverse the order: boil to anger, speak without thinking, fail to listen.
And often even when we "listen" we are really thinking about what we are going to say next.
- Hearing is not enough. We must have a true desire to understand, then work to understand.
- People need to be heard.
- People need to listen.
People are naturally bad at listening. We need to practice active listening skills. Most people are reactive rather than reflective. Hear James:
- Be quick to listen.
- "The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
Splits in the church have resulted from the failure of someone to keep his mouth shut.
- How many times has your mouth gotten you into trouble?
- Slow to speak: think about what you say.
- Words have the potential to bring life or death. Choose them wisely.
Slow to wrath: "wrath" implies to "get at" someone. Don't do it.
In your marriage or relationship, there will be conflict.
Rules for conflict management.
- Fight fair. Establish rules of engagement. Avoid known "triggers." Not fair.
- Take a time-out. This does not mean walk away; agree to the time-out but return to the issue, for it must be resolved.
- Get past the past. Forgive, let things go. You cannot start a new chapter while you are still reading the last one.
- Talk it out. Listening is key. Never ignore or walk away.
The silent treatment is ineffective and not helpful.
What have you been communicating to people you are close to?
Intentional communication is the starting point for repairing relationships.
Every one of your relationships can be a "10" if you work at it, do it God's way. See the text from James.
Pastor Johnnie Blair