Part 6 of a 6 part series. View series intro and index.
Let’s have a short review of everything we’ve discussed over the past six weeks about our communication. We assume the worst about people and assume they know what we are thinking. We communicate differently than our neighbors, our friends, and the opposite gender because we are all from different cultures. We tend to withhold important truths, manipulate facts, or change the subject. We want to avoid talking to people face-to-face because it’s uncomfortable. We have unreasonable expectations and therefore, become greatly disappointed in others.
That’s a pretty dismal pedigree. All of these things happen because of something called sin. It lives in us—even Christians—and it wreaks havoc on our relationships. Listen to James, the brother of Jesus, talk about why we have problems with other people:
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and you do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions (4:1-3).
Jesus Christ has perfectly spoken on God’s behalf to the world. And in turn, he has perfectly spoken to God on our behalf as our advocate (1 John 2:2). That same passage in 1 Timothy says that Jesus “gave himself as a ransom for all” (v. 6). If haven’t received Christ by faith as the ransom for your sinful life—communication pitfalls included—to obtain peace before God (Rom. 5:1), then you will never experience peace with others. Sure, there might be superficial peace and joy and it might seem great. But if you haven’t addressed your greatest problem—your own sinful self—all your other problems will never get solved.
Quality communication with the people around us really can happen. You don’t have to be a communicative failure. Things can never be perfect, of course. But the gospel of Jesus Christ doesn’t exist just to save you from hell and damnation. It exists to bring restoration between us and God and also to every area of life—especially relationships with others.
In the gospel, we find forgiveness on God’s part and repentance on ours. In your life, you will have to do both with people, and if you can sincerely live this out with others, I trust that God will bring healing and redemption to your all of your relationships.