Have you ever had a conversation with someone and later found that they left out specific information that would have made all the difference in your response?
I received a text from someone asking about etiquette and I was sitting at a table full of women, one a pastor. So we discussed the option and gave her our unanimous advice. Later, I found out so much more about the situation.
I know better than to discuss anything important over a text because you can’t see body language or hear voice inflections. This situation seemed so clear cut, I forgot my no text rule over something that may have been important.
I used to think it was okay to speak over the telephone when trying to work out a difficulty until I read an expert on human relationships say that the same problem with texting hurts telephone communication, too. Not enough cues come through technology.
Clear communication is essential for relationships, for teaching, and for reaching people with the gospel.
It’s worth the effort to clarify when trying to get an idea across to someone. Listening is worth the time it takes to set aside our own thoughts and agenda and just listen. I’ve learned this the hard way. Proverbs 18:13 (NKJV) says, “He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.“
When I worked at a job in my younger years that required me to talk to a client, a man with a severe speech impediment needed to explain things occasionally. I got to the point that I’d fill in the words for him to hurry up the conversation. After a few times of this, he got mad at me and told me to cut it out. I was so embarrassed. He was right, it only made things worse. Years later, I read Proverbs 18:13. Oh, man, if only I’d known this earlier.
I met a neighbor of a person I know, and the neighbor said her neighbor doesn’t exactly lie, but she omits things. “So that is lying, isn’t it?”
Not that we’re supposed to share everything in the world, but leaving things out that are important – well, you get it.
What do you think?