One of the greatest things about our lives is the ability to form bonds in relationships. However, this can also be one of the most frustrating things about our lives as well. We can easily misunderstand each other or misjudge each other’s motives or intentions. Sometimes we even freak out a bit when someone doesn’t respond to a Facebook message or text immediately. Did I offend them? Don’t they love me? How come they are taking so long to get back to me? Sound familiar? Besides our battle against selfish tendencies and our insecurities and fears, one of the biggest destructive elements in our relationships is our inability to communicate what we really mean.
It is so easy to say something and have it come across not at all how we intend for it to or to say it with an edge to our tone because we’re frustrated at not being able to get across what we mean to get across! For example, I can have the best of intentions when communicating with someone, but then blow it because the other person isn’t getting what I’m trying to say and I become frustrated! I think this is why God tells us over and over to not be quick to speak. James 1:19, “. . . be . . . slow to speak.” In other words, think before you talk!
Relationships involve at least two people so besides thinking through what we’re saying and how we’re saying it we also need to show great mercy and grace to others. Don’t assume the worst and don’t judge someone else’s motivations when you’re confused, hurt or frustrated by what they say because most of the time they probably are not trying to confuse you or hurt you or frustrate you at all. Also, don’t jump to any wrong conclusions just because someone doesn’t respond to your text or instant messaging immediately. They may be busy or facing a crisis or simply trying to think through what they’re going to say back to you.
This world can be brutal, so think through your words and how you say them and cut each other some slack – lots of it! 1 Peter 4:8, “Above all else, love each other sincerely because love makes you willing to forgive each other over and over.”