A lesson on communication with God and others

“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”

That’s from Proverbs 17:14

 
Bible Journaling Janis Cox

Matthew tells us in chapter 5, “Settle matters quickly with your adversary.”

This is something I am getting better at. If I feel rankled by what is said to me I breathe in and ask for the statement to be repeated. If it’s my husband, many of the times it’s because he didn’t understand what I said because he didn’t hear me correctly. With others it also could be a misunderstanding, a lack of information.

Actual communication with a spouse or friend is not easy but especially so in the new way of communication.

The new texting and even email is more difficult because of the timing between communications.

Misunderstandings abound.

 If I get confused I pick up the phone and call. It’s better to get it straight by talking right to the person.

I have learned over the years never to reply to angry thoughts from an email right away. Sometimes I even ignore them. Most times I wait awhile, then when common sense prevails I will write back in love to clarify.

Recently my hubby and I attended a performance by a group called The Fab Four, a Beatles tribute band.

Many of those songs are now playing in my head.

One of them called, “Hello, Hello”, made me think of our misunderstandings of each other.

“You say yes, I say no

You say stop and I say go go go, oh no”

The concert also brought me back to a different era — the one in which I grew up. I think the world was much simpler back then.

Kids were free to play in parks unsupervised, and people were more gentle overall. 

Of course, there were still dark spots but we didn’t see them displayed everywhere — newscasts, movies, video games. What was restricted then is probably called PG — parental guidance, now.

How The Internet Can be Good

There is a good part to our world today because of the Internet. And that’s being connected as we never have before. Hope Stream Radio where I podcast reaches over 40 countries. I find that truly amazing.

This morning I Skyped to a Pastor in Poland. Imagine that. He used the computer translator sometimes to find a word but we have a wonderful conversation.

We are no longer insular. 

We are a global people. We can meet people from all walks of life, more countries than ever before, and have meaningful conversations.

We can ignore colour, race, religion, and social status. We can even ignore the language barrier by using a translator (which is getting better). We can listen or we can read.

We are all God’s children.

As Christians I think we need to be bolder in this age — not as judges — but as God’s hands and feet.

We are called to communicate.

From Isaiah 52:7

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

To grow in our faith we can meet together as Christians and read God’s Word.

 We can study together — in actual physical locations or online.

There is a caution that we must test the group we join to be sure that the studies are rooted in the Bible and the participants will acknowledge Jesus as Saviour or tell us that they are searching for Him.

As in the early days of the church there were groups, Gnostics, who tried to blend in other ideas with the Truth of Christ. They even tried to change Who Jesus is and the Power of the Cross.

We too need to be aware and cautious.

I have been studying Proverbs this month and leading a group in Growing Through God’s Word, a Facebook group.

These wisdom sayings of Solomon are reflected in Chapter 5 of Matthew — Jesus’ teachings of the Beatitudes. This made me think of the word Beatitude — I hear the word attitude.

Our attitude. That counts. What state are we in?

How do we approach God?

How can we understand Him? Or can we?

How do we know what He wants us to do?

Finding the Answer to Our Attitude

Listen — yes that’s how we do it. We listen to Him.

There has to be a time in the day — I personally love mornings — to study His Word and then listen to Him talk.

Being still is a spiritual discipline..

Today I read Proverbs 17 and chose verse 1 to focus on.

From the New Kings James Version we read:

Better is a dry morsel with quietness,
Than a house full of feasting with strife.

Quietness:

Do we know what that means? Even the refrigerator makes a noise.

First we need to tune out what is going on around us.

If I get up early it’s only the refrigerator, sometimes the furnace and the chiming of our grandfather clock that I hear.

But once the day starts — there is little quiet time unless I purposely seek it.

My mind starts to go on tasks that need to be done. Getting ready for the day. Meal preparation, writing, reading and painting. Activities, people, hubby phone calls, cell phone and social media connections.

“But quietness frees us from the demands of the world.” Words from Ron Hughes in his book “Refresh”.

Find Silence This Week

Try finding a time this week to be silent.

To hear God
Silence your mental racket

Silence the world around you
Hear from the One Who created you.

Then when we are faced with a possible dispute, we can listen better and respond in silence or soft words.

When we are at peace we can react in peace.

Proverbs 15:1 from The Message

A gentle response defuses anger,
but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.

Bible Journaling Janis Cox

May I pray for you and me?

Lord Jesus, we know in this face-paced world we have trouble being quiet. Help us to learn this so we can find Your answers, Your peace and Your comfort. In Your Name, Jesus we pray. Amen.

 

Visit Janis at JanisCox.com and find more of her works here