The way I see it, this is a time and age when MIXED MESSAGES won’t work.
I have learnt that there are certain key elements in COMMUNICATIONS and each aspect is key to the effectual sending, receiving, interpreting and response to messages.
According to the experts, in the communication of messages, there is a SENDER, a COMMUNICATION CHANNEL (face to face, email, text etc), a RECEIVER and of course, there is the expected FEEDBACK.
Now if messages are not communicated properly, people may die, entire nations may be wiped out and generally people could be badly hurt.
They further intimate that we must all seek to be good listeners; be careful with our non-verbal aspects of communication, as people read into our facial expressions, head and hand movements; eye contact and such like.
The tone of the message such as tone of voice or choice of words are also key. We must also show respect in passing out our messages.
Now I heard a Pastor say once, that the way we speak to our dogs and the way they respond, is instructive.
If you tell your dog, in the sweetest tone possible: ‘Come here doggy, I want to kill you,’ the dog would wag its tail and come to you but if you say in a loud and abrupt type of voice: ‘Dawg ah love you!’ The dog will run away.
Well I newa!
As this season of good cheer approaches, I remember the first skit that I was ever asked to participate in at the New River Primary School. It was a Christmas play of sorts.
I did not have a lot of lines to learn and so I was not too nervous.
It was something about being kind and loving at Christmas time. A class mate of mine, Donna Huggins by name, was the person I had the conversation with, at that point in the skit.
Well, during our practice sessions, after whatever misunderstanding between the two of us, the skit ended with us making up and speaking kindly to each other.
We were to end with a hug.
All during the practice sessions, the Teacher would just say and ‘they hugged and made up.’
We never hugged.
On the grand afternoon of the concert, the school was packed. It was show time.
When we got to the part for the hug and make up thingy, I reached out to now actually hug Donna and she pulled away. I reached back and hugged her and kissed her on her cheek.
World war three started immediately. Donna gave me a slap out of this world.
Fortunately, while I was smarting with embarrassment, the members of the crowd were laughing, because they thought that it was a part of the script.
Not long after, Donna went off to Puerto Rico and I have never seen her since. I hope that one day she will read this.
I guess we got our communications mixed up there.
I went to the 35th wedding anniversary of some family members of mine and during his speech, the husband stated that when he saw his wife for the first time, he was so fascinated by her, that he sent a friend to call her. Her response was blunt and hurtful: ‘Tell that black Tar baby to leave me alone!’
He went on to say ‘and she has been loving the black tar baby for the last 35 years!’
Well I newa!
Have you ever been to a seminar when they do this little experiment of passing a message around the room? One person whispers something into the ear of another and passes on a simple message. By the time the message is given by the last receiver, it is usually such a weird and hilarious difference.
In his book,
How to Keep From Getting Hurt in a Church, by Dale A. Robbins, he gave some tips about how persons can avoid getting hurt in church, of all places, which is supposed to be a safe haven:
Avoid developing unreasonable expectations of the church
Don’t place an absolute trust in people
Focus on common ground
Don’t expect any church to be perfect
Don’t seek to promote yourself or your own agenda
Avoid blaming the church for personal problems
Treat others as you wish to be treated
Have a teachable, cooperative attitude
Don’t oppose or hinder the church
Be committed to forthrightness and truth
Be devoted to love and forgiveness
Don’t get caught up in the offenses of others
Don’t personalize everything that’s preached
So, in summary, it would appear that we have to be extremely cautious and careful with what we communicate and how we communicate what we communicate.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?