When We Get Things Wrong
Why is it that the words we meant to speak out of our mouth, to communicate with others, is different than the ones that people hear? Is it because our words are miscommunicated, misunderstood or misinterpreted? Did we just say it wrong? One thing is for certain, people who are searching for truth are looking for honesty. Be honest with your words and thoughts as you're talking with others. Your peers expect and will anticipate that your opinion, thoughts and knowledge will be on point. People you may be leading are looking for clarity, understanding and enlightenment. We can speak with love, truth and honesty in all of our words, yet we can still be misunderstood. We can still get things wrong.
The book of James tells it like it is. James 3 begins by talking to us about our mouths and the tremendous power of our words.
Here's something from verse 2 to remember:
'None of us is perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths.'
We find the real honest to goodness truth about ourselves. We are going to get things wrong. Our words will be misunderstood. Our intentions will be misinterpreted. It happens to everyone. Yep, it really happens. There will be times that we will not be able to communicate our thoughts so that our intentions are understood. What do we do? Try again. Reword your idea. Didn't work? Try again. Change your voice. Try using books or pictures, or rework your information. Whatever is needed to clarify your thoughts.
What if you never knew that your words were taken in a way that wasn't received in the way that you intended? What can we do about something we aren't aware of? We can and should pray. Pray for The Holy Spirit to bring clarity; before (whenever possible) and after you speak with someone, and especially when and if you are unsure.
Remember to be thoughtful and honest. Truth and love in our words and in our intention will win out over a miscommunication. If you feel a sense of misinterpretation reach out. Don't assume that someone else will be sent to pick up the banner and bring clarity. Be honest. Share your thoughts and feelings. Bring truth and be real. We will make mistakes, but when we can admit to our own faults, flaws and mistakes it will help bring clarity.
Verse 2 goes on to say that we are not perfect. Something that some of us need to come to terms with and accept. (Insert cheesy grin here) We just aren't perfect. We will get things wrong. We will be misunderstood. Our words will be misinterpreted. Its true, but it doesn't make us bad people or intentionally hurtful. We make mistakes communicating sometimes. We are not perfect and we never will be. Love, truth and honesty, whenever we open our mouths, will help to rectify most misunderstood communications.
The Holy Spirit has a way of taking care of us and helping us overcome our mis-steps. He helps us grow in our ability to share with others, and in our ability to be honest with ourselves and with them. When we experience a miscommunication with someone, what usually happens is that we both end up experiencing growth potential. Yep. That's right. Someone else's misunderstandings of our intentions has a way of turning itself into our very own growth experience. That's one of the many and varied ways The Holy Spirit works in and through us.
James 3: 1-2
"Don’t be in any rush to become a teacher, my friend. Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards. And none of us is perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person, in perfect control of life."