Every relationship relies on communication.
We often think of relationships through titles… boyfriend, mother, best friend, wife, boss, next-door neighbor, etc.
Relationships can perhaps be defined by titles, but they exist because we’re working to associate with each other. One of the main ways we do that is through conversation.
Think about your relationship with Jesus… it’s sustained by prayer, which is simply an ongoing conversation with Him. If conversation is that vital to our relationship with God, it’s probably going to be important in all of them.
Not all of our efforts to communicate are effective, however. If we’re honest, some of them just flat-out stink.
Here are a few standard ways we stink at communicating in our relationships…
- Deflection. When someone tries to talk to you about something that has to do with you, you deflect the attention to something that has to do with them.
- Reduction. We all have big problems in our lives. A reduction is when we reduce a problem’s significance. A reduction takes a big problem and talks about it like it’s insignificant.
- Amplification. This is where someone takes a small issue and blows it up into a huge one, often to try to shift the attention from a bigger issue that’s perhaps more uncomfortable.
- Explosion. If a difficult conversation is going a direction you’re uncomfortable with, a full-on blow up will increase the intensity of the conversation. This is often the result of someone feeling extremely vulnerable and out-of-control.
The most ineffective way we communicate is telling a lie.
Jesus took the truth so serious that He defined himself as The Truth (John 14:6). When we lie, we don’t tell the truth. This one act communicates one simple truth: we don’t trust Jesus completely.
The difficult thing to accept is that many of us are telling lies right now, but perhaps in a way that you’re not aware of.
The biggest lie you’re probably telling is something that you’re NOT saying.
I’d like to call that an OMISSION.
Here’s a few reasons we don’t talk about important things…
- “We’ve already talked about this.” This is a lie that we’ve believed where we think that just because we had a past conversation about this general topic, it’s covered under that umbrella. It’s where the guy who told his wife he loved her on their wedding day, gets the idea that h doesn’t need to tell her that again.
- “It’s going to cause a fight.” Yep, it probably is. And, that’s probably a good thing. You most likely NEED that fight to gain some central ground. And… If you run away from it, you’ll be missing out on something that you most likely need.
- “They don’t need to know.” Who said that… You? You decided they don’t need to know about something that’s important and could affect them? If something’s important to someone, you talk to them about it.
- “I’d rather not tell them.” An intentional omission is the brother to an intentional lie. If you’re not telling them, there’s a reason. Not telling someone, intentionally, is denying a very important level of vulnerability and intimacy to your relationship.
Here’s the big reason we need to talk about important things:
When we don’t talk about important things, our enemy has the chance to fill in the gaps with lies.
Our enemy is described as the “Father of Lies” in the Scriptures (John 8:44). That means that one of the most significant attacks that we are consistently under is an attack on the truth.
So… why not make every effort to make sure the truth is talked about?
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Here’s three things you might want to do today to respond to this:
- Tell somebody important “I love you.” Maybe even tell them why.
- Take a moment to remind your kids that you believe in them and that you’re always going to be there for them no matter what they’re facing.
- Drop a note to someone who’s made a difference in your life and remind them how much you appreciate what they’ve done for you
What else could we do to have a conversation that we’ve been omitting?