Communicating heart to heart

Genuine, spiritually based love is the best foundation for clear communication.

There are times when communication between people breaks down. That breakdown is especially painful when it involves individuals who care deeply for one another. I recall very vividly two such instances in my experience. In the first, I felt as if I were talking to the proverbial brick wall; I simply couldn't understand how my dear young friend could take the position she had. So I directed all my wisdom and logic toward "straightening out her poor attitude," and we had many long discussions. (All right, they were lectures.) But neither her attitude nor her behavior changed very much.

In the second instance, I'd had a "falling-out" with a friend. I loved her just as much as ever, and I knew she loved me too. But whenever we tried to speak, the effort always got us tangled up in a web of words and feelings that left us more confused and hurt than before.

Situations like these raise the question "Isn't love enough to keep communications clear and trouble-free?" The answer is "No, not if we mean a human emotion, which can be vague, impractical, fickle, painful, and weak." Hardly a good basis for any substantial endeavor! But the answer is "Yes" if we mean love that originates in God. Love, in fact, is the very nature of God, as the author of I John declared when he wrote, "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." I John 4:16.

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The compassion essential for healing
June 26, 1989

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