Communication 101

“She doesn’t like me.”

“He doesn’t understand me.”

“We used to be so close – but we never talk anymore.”

“She doesn’t care.”

We’ve all heard those lines before. Sometimes we’ve heard it from our children. Sometimes we’ve heard it from our friends. Other times, we’ve said it ourselves. Even the most self confident, independent and logical minded person has at some point in their lives felt either misunderstood, lonely, or uncared for.

Of course, we have a constant reminder from God’s word that He loves us, He understands, He is always with us and He cares. Without that hope it would be all the more difficult to deal with those feelings and thoughts. “If God is with us, who can be against us?”

But even God understands that those feelings arise between human beings and cause us discouragement. The wonderful thing is that God even gives us guidelines to dealing with those situations.

Communication is essential in the Christian life. It is vital to our own relationship with God and it is vital to our relationships with others. What kind of relationship with God would we have if we never talked to Him, if we never read His word, or if we never took the time to be still and know He is God? Without communication there is no relationship.

In the Garden, when Adam and Eve sinned against God by eating from the tree He instructed them not to eat from, their first reaction was to hide from God – close themselves off from Him, avoid Him, put up a wall. Even though it was they who sinned against God, they put up the wall.

When there is a wall between ourselves and God, there is no communication. In order to break down that wall we must go to Him and confess our sins and then we can receive His forgiveness and the relationship is healed. Confession is communication.

After Adam pulled away from God, God called out to Adam. He communicated with him. It was only after they communicated that there was resolution and healing.

When feelings arise that we are misunderstood, unliked, or when we sense a distance arising in a previously healthy relationship, chances are it is a communication issue.

In John 17 we find Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane. I have always found joy in this passage of scripture because not only did Jesus pray for those who were living at the time – but Jesus prayed for believers of the future – us. In verse 20-21 Jesus said, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.”

Jesus prayed specifically for us that we would be one. Ironic that it was in a garden where Adam and Eve pulled away from God and it is in a garden where Jesus prays for connection. Jesus desires for us to be one. He says that He desires for us to be one that we may also be one in Him and so that the world may believe that God sent Jesus.

It is important to our walk with God that we be at peace with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to forgive one another. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32.

When Christians are one with one another it communicates something powerful to the world. It communicates a message about Christ that can help the world believe in Him.

It is important to communicate. The Bible is full of examples of God communicating with us. This example is instrumental to restoration in our relationships with others.

“She doesn’t like me.” …have you tried talking to her?

“He doesn’t understand me.” …have you tried talking to him?

“We used to be so close – but we never talk anymore.” …so talk.

“She doesn’t care.” …have you talked to her about it? Told her how you feel?

Of course, I understand, there are those who in their own hurt, stubbornness or rejection of God’s truth, will not respond to our attempts at communicating with them. Sometimes they are not ready. Sometimes they are not in a right place with God. In those situations we can also learn from Jesus by what He showed us. Pray for them.

I often tell teens that if there is someone in their lives who either does not like them or they have conflict with, and that person won’t work it out – to pray for the person. I challenge them to thank God for five things about that person every day. It can be a difficult thing to do – but it works. If you can’t communicate with the person about the issue – communicate to God about the person.