The Rev. Len Browning: Communication connection

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My wife recently told me I need to be a better listener, and a whole bunch of other stuff I don’t remember.

Actually, I heard every word she said, I just chose to process only part of it.

My staff and I are finding that we’re frequently guilty of miscommunication causing misunderstandings.

At a recent board meeting of a service club I belong to, we resigned ourselves to accepting the reality that we need to communicate more and in different ways if we are to continue to attract and retain other club members.

Today, we have at our disposal more forms of communication than at any other time in history. I text, use e-mail, voicemail, snail-mail, manage a handful of websites, do some blogging and am on Facebook.

Why do I still get accused of not communicating enough?

Communication is more than just talking, texting or tweeting (which I don’t do ... yet).

Communication involves the heart and the mind and listening as much as talking (or texting, tweeting, blogging, etc.).

The Bible has a lot to say about communication. Consider just a handful of examples:

• Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.

• If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

• The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

• A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

• Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

• An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.

• A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.

• The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.

• Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Healthy and effective communication can really only take place when we can see each other. Body language, and facial and voice inflection are also key to saying and hearing what is really intended.

My prayer is that as I learn to utilize all forms of communication at my disposal, I continue to seek more opportunities to really communicate — in person — with others.

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