I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.
No matter what you do today, you have to communicate. You could be a student, a business worker, a manager, a hair stylist, a mechanic, a farmer, a corporate CEO. It doesn’t matter because you’ll need to communicate.
Communication always assumes a community. You have to have at least two people. And it helps if both sides want to communicate, or it quickly becomes very frustrating and a waste of time. Just look and listen to our government, it certainly looks like everyone is talking but very few are trying to communicate or listen.
It’s a three-step process to communicate.
First, you’ll need to have thoughts and ideas that you want to share.
Second, you convert those thoughts and ideas into words that others can understand.
Third, you express those words through speaking or writing.
And that’s only one-way communicating. You’ve pitched your idea out there, the sound waves went through the air, text and images flew through phone and internet technology. But did they get there? Were there gaps in your words? Did they understand your words?
Let’s face it, once it leaves you mouth or hands, it’s really out of your control. You have very little power over what and if they actually received. You have even less control over what they think.
Yes, there are many good things and techniques that you can use to be as clear as possible. Using more common words that are more easily understood. Phrases that can be grasped by anyone. Painting word pictures is also helpful.
When Paul met with leaders of the early church, they were the insiders and he was the outsider. They had been together since the beginning. Some of them were the original apostles Jesus chose. Some were disciples that had walked with Jesus all over the place. They had heard his voice, seen his miracles. They had a lot more time and experience following Jesus than Paul. They were the seasoned veterans. He was the rookie.
So, as the outsider, it was Paul’s responsibility to reach out to them. To speak and communicate in a way that they could understand. Words and expressions that they could understand. You can read about this meeting in Acts 15.
And while we don’t know the exact words that Paul spoke, we are told how he spoke. He presented the good news that he preached. He didn’t just blast them with facts and figures, he spoke so that he could get and keep their attention. He used words and ideas that they could understand.
He wanted back-and-forth dialogue. He wanted their questions because they were indicators about how good of a job he was doing, pitching his thoughts and ideas. He wanted active interaction with them because it showed that they were listening.
You never convince anyone of anything, or win anyone over, through a one-way presentation. If all you do is talk, then you’re committing communication suicide. You might be an expert, you may know it all, but if all you’re doing is talking, then you’re not really looking for an informed mind or a changed heart.
When Paul spoke, he was focused so others could understand.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
1 Corinthians 2:2
Paul was focused on Jesus. Period. Jesus, God’s salvation. God’s anointed one. Son of God. God the Son. But Paul didn’t stop there. The other big idea about Jesus was that he was crucified. He went through a brutal, public execution to make the payment for our sin.
He wasn’t arrested for leading some rebellion. He wasn’t killed for trying to unseat the Roman government or Jewish religion. He gave himself up to pay the price we couldn’t pay. To repair and remake our brokenness with our great, loving heavenly Father God.
When you get down to it, it’s all about Jesus. Period. Who he was. Who he is. What he did. Why he did it. Paul kept Jesus as the main thing in his life and in his talking.
That sounds like a good way to communicate. And who to communicate about.
Explain how you have tried to improve your communication skills and abilities with people?
Where do you practice your new communication skills? On whom?
How much more important are our communication skills with God? Not just speaking, but also listening?