Excel in Communication
I can remember being a kid and using an old fashioned rotary dial phone. It took so long to dial, and then if you got a busy signal you had to do it all over again. Ugh… It pains me thinking about it. But then came our first touch tone phone, and then a cordless phone. Boy had we arrived – or so I thought. Little did I know at the time, but the next thirty years would be a whirlwind in terms of technology. Computers, laptops, I-pads, cell phones, etc… It was crazy the rate at which technology sped up and improved. All in an effort of improving communication.
If we have such great communication tools now why are we still struggling to excel in communication? Whether it’s via email, text, phone call, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine, Kik, etc… we all seem to be doing a lot of talking or telling people what we’re doing or where we’re at. Maybe it’s not what we’re saying. Maybe the problem is that we are not listening. Listening is a valuable tool when it comes to communication. We are so easily distracted and don’t truly engage when we should be listening to our boss in a meeting, listening to our spouse at home, listening to our friends share their struggles in life, listening to our kids more. One problem, as I see it, is that our technology gets in the way and distracts us from truly listening. We are like ‘Pavlov’s Dog’ – we are trained to respond to the beep or noise our technology makes as soon as possible, all the while not listening or hearing the person who is right in front of us.
In the Book of James, God tells us to listen. ‘My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.’ James 1:19 NLT. This confirms that for us to be better communicators we have to do a better job of listening. Slow down, as the scripture says, and listen to what others are saying – we might actually hear something that they are not actually saying – like they are hurt and broken, and need someone to notice. Listen with your eyes as well as your ears. Eliminate the distractions and really listen to what others are saying.
“Dear Lord, help us to listen to what others are saying. Help us be attentive and in tune to what others say. Help us to listen and hear what You are saying to us too. Thanks for listening to our prayer. Amen”