“They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:5-6
It was one of those times when I just couldn’t figure out how to say what I wanted to say so that Cheryl would really understand what I meant. You’d think after being married for nearly a quarter of a century we’d have gotten over these communication difficulties but it doesn’t seem to be the case. I blame it on the fact that, while we were growing up, our families worked together very differently and had very different ways of communicating with each other.
But this kind of thing can happen in every relationship for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they come because the speaker has never needed to say what he’s needing to say before and hasn’t learned the right words to accurately express it. Sometimes it’s because the hearer doesn’t have enough experience and is having a hard time understanding. Sometimes, depending on the topic, relationship issues can poise all kinds of tricky scenarios, the problem is that the two people have grown up with very different ways of communicating and it’s not so much a subject problem as it is a language and communication style problem. I could go on listing possible reasons for the communication log jam but I think you probably get the picture. Different people can have very different ways of expressing themselves and understanding one another.
In our focus text John sites another reason for communication barriers. Your relationship with God.
Having God as the first priority in your life affects your relationship with everything and everyone. There are things you won’t do because of your relationship with God and there are things that you simply must do for the same reason. For those that don’t know God, those that haven’t been born of and filled with the Holy Spirit and experienced the strength, and joy, and peace that comes from that connectedness with God, they just can’t understand.
But it’s more than just not being able to understand. The apostle John says that because of their not having a connection with God people of the world can’t hear us. So it’s more than merely an understanding issues it’s a hearing issue.
Perhaps the Holy Spirit helps us when we’re listening so that we can actually hear more of what a person is really trying to say. I know that this is true when it comes to conversations of a spiritual nature. Nothing we have to talk about is more complicated or further from our past personal experience than our relationship with God yet still we find the words to express what’s in our hearts and other people with just as big but different deficits than we have find that they are able to hear and understand what we’re trying to say. God in us makes up difference.
Thank you Jesus for giving me ears to hear what you say and what others connected to you have to say. Help me to remember that those without you don’t have you to help them.