ODJ: clear communication

July 20, 2014 

READ: Ephesians 4:11-16 

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church (v.15).

Many battles in life stem from false assumptions that are made due to lack of communication. For instance, we share a wall with our neighbours and—since moving in 6 months ago—they’ve been redecorating. The garden, the garage, the bathrooms, the bedrooms; nothing has escaped a hammer, an electric power tool or a paintbrush.
Recently I took an important online exam at home and needed absolute quiet in order to concentrate and complete all the questions within the allotted 2 hours. I should have informed my busy neighbours about the upcoming exam, but kept putting it off.

On the day of the exam, I readied myself, logged on and after 5 minutes into it, I heard the dreaded sound of a hammer banging on something. The neighbours had scheduled workers to install carpeting for that morning, and they couldn’t be delayed. They ripped up old carpets and laid new ones for the next 2 hours. I couldn’t concentrate with all the noise and, needless to say, I didn’t complete all the questions within the allotted time.

I have yet to receive the results from that exam, but whatever the outcome, I have learned an important lesson: don’t assume anything without having established clear, truthful communication.

Our relationship with other believers in Jesus requires that we speak what is true in a loving way: “Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket” (Proverbs 25:11).

As we grow in understanding the truths of God’s Word, we mature in our relationship with Him and with other believers in Jesus. We can then better “speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). Our faith and unity will grow as our edifying, truth-based communication flows. —Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day plan› Mark 7:1-37

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and consider how your words can be used to accomplish what Paul is instructing us to do. 
With whom do you need to communicate? Why is it vital that we speak the truth and do so in love?