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Understanding One Another

Published: January 20, 2022      Updated: January 20, 2022


For the newsletter this week, I’ve been having a debate in my mind. Do I have the literary skill to share this information in a way that it will be perceived with the intended meaning? My class has been discussing the way we communicate to others with our words, body language, and tone. We learned that 55 percent of our communication is expressed through our body language and eye contact, 38 percent is expressed through the tone of our voice, and only 7 percent is expressed through the actual words. Seven percent! No wonder text messages, emails, notes, essays, etc. can be so easily misinterpreted. A message delivered without an actual person to see and listen to is lacking 93% of how I interpret that message. Hopefully, these words will paint a picture of the other 93% of the message. What I share with you today, gave me with a new understanding of what our kids are dealing with these days. 
Last week during worship, we were discussing what has been the most difficult for us these last two years of life. The class had a variety of answers such as not being able to see family, being unable to travel easily or not at all, seeing restaurants they enjoyed go out of business, and more. One student’s comment really made me stop. The student said the hardest thing was being afraid to go places because they were fearful of anger being directed toward them. Not a fear of doing something wrong, or of getting sick, or of spreading sickness, but a fear of someone being angry at them. The student was not making any kind of political statement just stating the fact that there was always a risk of another person being angry at them in any given situation and it gave them a lot of anxiety when out and about in the community. I know I run the risk of my message being misinterpreted but I’m sharing this with you today, to bring the unspoken anxieties our kids are dealing with to your attention. The comment makes me stop and think. What does my tone of voice sound like right now? What impression does my posture give to my words? What does my face say about the words I’m speaking? Fear and anger can prevent a person from functioning in society. I pray God goes before my words, my body posture, and my facial expressions so I never cause a child to be fearful. Even a message a child may not want to hear can be presented with love and grace. God, please fill me with love and grace. 
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16 NLT