As the pace of our lives increases, and we become busier than ever, there can be a breakdown in communication that has an impact in our relationships. Whether is be a married couple, parents and children, or even in the workplace with your boss, these Biblical concepts can definitely help to improve your communication before it becomes a big problem.
The first concept is to Be Honest. Ephesians 4:25 says, “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”
Some people like to say that they are just “speaking their mind” and “sometimes the truth hurts”. But, if our communication is not directed by the God-honoring concept of honesty, we can never speak in love. If we are “just venting to make myself feel better” then I may be denying the fact that I have a problem if things don’t go just my way. If you can be honest with yourself and others about your struggles, it will go a long way in helping honest communication take place.
The second communication concept is to Keep Current. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”
Ultimately, we cannot hold onto our anger away and keep trying to stuff it away. Unresolved anger opens the door to all kinds of temptations and sin. James 4:1-12 gives us an example of what happens with unresolved anger…and it not something God honoring. When we don’t release the challenge of today, it just builds into tomorrow. Make sure the sun doesn’t go down on your anger…and add to the difficulties of tomorrow.
The third concept that helps us with communication, is always be willing to attack problems, but never people. Think about what Ephesians 4:29-30 says, “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.”
Whether is your spouse, your family, your church family, or even co-workers or neighbors, attacking people always creates more problems…and does nothing to solve problems. Disunity is what happens when we attack each other.
Unity happens when, we as teammates, attack problems. If God calls us to walk in “unity”, then we must attack problems. By teaming up to fight against problems, we have a better chance to resolve the problem.
The forth key in improving our communication with those around us is to Act! Don’t React. While Ephesians 4:31 is often used in weddings, we must also look to verse 32 to help understand its full Biblical meaning: ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
When we react, we “bounce off ” the words or actions of another. We let ourselves be controlled by what they say or do, giving anger a foothold, and ultimately being controlled by what another person says or does. But whom does God’s Word expect us to be controlled (Galatians 5:16-26)? The Holy Spirit!
Reactions make problems worse, not better. Actions, when they are modeled after the character of Jesus Christ and are controlled by the Spirit, solve problems and increase unity. I can act like Jesus regardless of what you say or do! So can you. And that allows reconciliation within relationships to happen.
Finally, our fifth Biblical concept to improve communication is a simple, but often overlooked principle: Listen Attentively. This idea is communicated to us in the Bible in James 1:19-20. “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
This is a clear admonition to listen attentively. But it is amazing how many people don’t listen. They are busy stating their opinions or preparing their response, but not listening carefully. Failing to listen fosters mistakes and incites anger. Listening is paramount to knowing how to respond properly and to contribute words of value.
What if all of God’s children used these five communication keys? What a difference we could make in our world! “All will know you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35).
We would be like the early church that turned the world upside down. Married couples, families, and even the church would function in a unified manner, and our homes would be safe havens for all who come in. We would indeed walk in unity in all our relationships!