Communicating...

Communication is so key to life! We have more ways to communicate then ever before, but I'm not sure it makes us better communicators. Misunderstandings and disagreements are not a new problem, and even though we are quite tech savoy, we can learn a tremendous lesson from ancient Israel in Joshua 22.  If the steps to understand fully the intentions of three tribes had not been talked through carefully, Israel would have been fighting a civil war. Israel saw that Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had built an altar near the Jordan River. There was and could be only one altar to God in the Tabernacle, and Israel was afraid of God's wrath. Israel was ready for war (which meant someone was mad!) BUT...first, they sent a delegation led by Phinehas the priest's son. Israel made the effort to talk the problem through before a fight. This took time...travel was slow. Sometimes I don't slow down for two minutes to think through the right questions to know the heart of those I don't understand. I ask my children: room cleaned? Jobs done? Homework done? I truly only want to hear, yes, and if I hear no, I generally am ready to remind them of the importance of responsibility, work ethic, and obedience. At times there are reasons that are justifiable, but after raising children for so long, I have learned that their "excuses" are the same as most of the adults in my life. Taking the time to listen helps know the heart of the reasoning. Secondly, they were open minded. They heard why they built the altar, and they recognized their love for God. If we are going to be understood and known, we must clearly explain what our intentions are. New ideas...changes...and new programs don't need to be threatening, but we must be open to those we communicate with so the heart is understood. So...talk problems through and have an open mind to others to avoid the fight.

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