A young boy and his stepfather had difficulty communicating with each other. The man was outgoing; the boy was quiet. The elder loved to fish; the youngster loved to read.
The stepfather, wanting to get close to the boy, took him on a fishing trip. The boy hated it but didn’t know how to tell his stepfather directly. So he wrote him a note saying he wanted to go home. The man looked at it and stuck it in his pocket.
The fishing trip continued 4 more days. When they finally returned home, the boy shared his frustration with his mother and told her that his stepfather had paid no attention to his note. His mother said to him, “Son, your father can’t read.” The man had never shared this with the boy.
Good communication occurs not only when we know what we want to say, but also when we know the person to whom we are speaking. And to know one another requires a willingness to let others know our weaknesses and limitations.
Paul urged us as believers to speak truthfully with each other (Ephesians 4:25). He also admonished us to be “kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another” (v.32). That’s Christlike love, and it provides the security in which good communication can thrive.
We ought to speak the truth we feel
With careful thought for those who hear;
For truth and love must try to sense
What others feel, what others fear. —D. De Haan
Listen to understand, then speak with love.