Communication.... Definition: Communication is the imparting or exchanging of information or news; the successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings. It is a means of connection between people. We deal with, or a lack of, communication in our daily lives; either with individuals or within groups. Do we have a communication problem? Can we communicate better? Is our answer to those questions yes? This may not always be the case but more often than not, it is yes. We do communicate in some fashion but do we really engage in meaningful communication. Sometimes we don’t communicate our thoughts or feelings at all. Meaningful communication is where we actually put our true thoughts and feelings out there; hit the issues at hand. That can make us feel uncomfortable so we don’t always share those feelings and fail to communicate. Can we get to a place where we are comfortable sharing those true thoughts and feelings? Sure we can. Communication is a skillset we can learn, apply strategies and take direction from God’s word on how we should communicate. A few tips in communication...Learn to listen, don’t make assumptions, be supportive, be empathic, be patient, find the big picture. Learn to be comfortable feeling uncomfortable; tolerate discomfort in conversation for a period of time to understand and unlock what is important to you or whoever you are communicating with. Be open and transparent. Communicate and connect with those around you. Do so with meaningful communication not just a superficial communication. Apply this to whatever you’re involved in. Don’t be afraid to hit on the issues that are on your heart and mind. Keep the confusion out and let peace take over. I Corinthians 14:33 NKJV says “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” Don’t let confusion be a part of your organization or personal relationships. In any group or organization when we connect and communicate with people, in a Godly way, it brings us closer together. It builds relationships. It creates an atmosphere where things can get accomplished. In the context of communication during change, it eliminates any confusion and it helps everyone feel involved. Communication is essential. It produces a healthy environment, when done effectively. Lack of communication can hinder growth and cause distrust, confusion and destruction in any relationship or organization. Actually, NOT communicating is still communicating something. It communicates fear, apathy, worthlessness, confusion, distrust, misunderstandings, frustrations, etc. and conflicts can ensue. What does the Bible say about communication? The Bible gives us guidance on how we should communicate when doing so. Listed below are a few verses that will hopefully give you guidance but please seek and search out for yourself as well. Psalms 19:14 NLT says “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalms 49:3 NKJV says “My mouth shall speak wisdom, And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding.” I pray that we are meditating on what is pleasing to God and our words will reflect this. Psalms 37:30 NLT says “The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong.” Proverbs 12:25 ESV says “Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” I pray that we are aware of other’s anxiety and struggles and are prepared and willing to give good counsel and word when needed. Proverbs 25:11 ESV says “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” I pray that we will be led by God and our words and communication will be fitting and timely spoken. Proverbs 15:1 NLT says “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” I pray we will be cautious and aware of how we communicate, to deflect anger and negativity. Let us pray these prayers in Jesus’ name, amen! Think and ask yourself are you having meaningful communication in your interactions and situations with others? Ask yourself am I holding back my true feelings and not actually discussing the issues. When communicating don’t assume, ask the question that’s on your heart. Strive to communicate how the Bible instructs us to.