Communication can be tricky... like the double rainbow in the picture - our words can have double meaning and one meaning is not as clear as the other. It can sure cause confusion!
Yesterday as my husband was rushing out the door he told me of a meeting at 7 that we had to attend. So I was telling him that I had someplace to go in the afternoon with a friend. He wanted to know when???
So, I said, "it will be 4 or after."
He said, "before or after what?"
I repeated, "it will be 4 or after!" with a little more emphasis.
He got frustrated and with even MORE emphasis said, "BEFORE OR AFTER WHAT?"
Then he didn't have time to listen for the answer and left... or maybe he just realized what I was saying. Then I realized what had happened I got tickled and laughed and laughed and called him and explained. We laughed together at our "miss"understanding.
Sometimes, our conversations are just a lot of not hearing what the other person is saying and not knowing WHY. It has made me think again about words and how we use them and how we HEAR them. An old quote from the 70's is... "I may not be communicating what my mind is thinking and you may not be hearing what my words are saying"
We all have our preconceived idea of what we are hearing. I have heard sermons and wished that a certain person was there to hear it because it was JUST for them. Only to realize later that the message was really just what I needed to hear.
I have also tried to share a "truth" with someone then learned that what I thought I was saying is not what they heard and they acted the opposite of my "advice". Was it my communication or their hearing? Probably both!
If we will open our hearts and minds and hear with love, we will more often hear the real message coming through. My prayer is "Lord, give me ears to hear" then the will to apply it and discipline to walk in it and make the changes necessary.
If someone knows we love them, they will hear correction and act on it. If they know we don't like them, or think we don't approve then whatever we say will be received as criticism and they will reject it.
Let our words bring grace to the hearer and be a means of healing, exhortation, encouragement, instruction and comfort.