Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Say What?

Adjusting to the ways people communicate with each other is often a challenge for me.  It falls in the "compassion" area God is working on in me.

For instance, many times folks can't address topics directly, so they'll address them indirectly, coming as close to confession or apology as they possibly can without looking you in the eye and speaking boldly.

Other times, people are too weak to receive succinct questioning such that - if pressured - violence is their response. My earthly father was one of many who couldn't receive blatant inquisition without becoming belligerent.  Silence was the way my mother handled it, since he was often violent with her.

Since those days I've seen the wisdom in "picking my battles".  I've also been tendered toward those who struggle to grab the "communication bull" by the horns.  Daddy has taught me, tenderly, that requiring methods of response that please me... is prideful.

(Violence, of course, is never an acceptable interaction.)

Although I consider indirect communication a bit "backhanded" and generally evasive, it does enable individuals to express heartfelt emotions, albeit by less than precise means.  I don't have the market cornered on communication, I admit; so once the intention of their hearts is conveyed, that should be enough.  After all, God reads between our often confused and usually inadequate "lines" of emotion towards Him (mine included) - so we should do the same for others.

People briefly express their hearts in ways that deliver the same sincere sentiments as would a 30-minute speech.  I want my heart to be aligned with God's sensitivity such that, when I sense the meaning of their hearts, I can be grateful and move on without wanting to rub their noses in the infraction or my wounds of offense.  (Condemnation and revenge have no part with true forgiveness.)

"The Lord is merciful and gracious; slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy." (Psalm 103:8)
Humility is gracious and leaves space for the honest expression of one's heart.  Then it receives and appreciates that expression, regardless of whether or not it meets our personal (prideful) specifications. That's the kind of maturity I want, folks; that which comes by God's definition in mercy and grace.  I want to ingest and exhibit Christ-like compassion and humility, which values reconciliation and God's good pleasure above fleshly gratification and personal standards.

Yes, that's the kind of person I want to be.

Daddy's Girl

"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)