Communication problems are usually not from a lack of trying but from a lack of courage. We’re afraid to be completely honest – with ourselves.
In a relationship that’s suffering from the hazards of poor or infrequent communication, both of us are contributing fear to the situation. We fill the gaps of insufficient information with assumptions that protect our own view. Why? Because we’re afraid we’re going to lose something if we honestly examine our own motives or shortcomings or insufficient knowledge.
We are also afraid of what the other will think of us if we openly and honestly convey our thoughts, ideas, dreams, frustrations, fears, and feelings to the other. But this fear is based on the fear of being wrong, which is based on the fear of being unlovable.
When we dare to be completely honest with ourselves, we must do it by looking at ourselves through the eyes of Jesus. Yes, he recognizes our sins and shortcomings, but he simultaneously sees all that’s good about us. Scripture assures us that he is not condemning us, even though we are far from perfect (see John 3:17). He does call us to repent and to mature in holiness, but he gently shepherds us through the process. We need to realize that he is smiling at us. There’s much in us that pleases him. He wants to build this up, not tear us down because of what’s wrong about us.
See yourself through the eyes of the smiling Jesus. Then communicate honestly with yourself about your thoughts, ideas, dreams, frustrations, fears, and feelings that are entangled with someone you’ve been afraid to talk to. Protect between you and Jesus what you need to feel safe about, and let the Holy Spirit give you words to communicate what is good to share openly with that other person.
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© 2014 by Terry A. Modica
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