“For if I make you sorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?” (2 Corinthians 2:2)
Every relationship we have is a two-way street. According to the Apostle Paul whatever we send down that street comes back up the street and has a dynamic impact on that relationship. Jesus conveys this same truth with a positive spin when He teaches hypercritical people, “With the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Matthew 7:2)
This was a marketplace metaphor in the culture where Jesus lived. If you were selling oats and a fellow merchant was selling wheat, when you bought from each other you could request them to use their bushel standard of measurement. Paraphrased, this means whatever standard you use when you give to another person in a relationship, they will use when they give to you.
We cannot control the weather but we can control the emotional climate that surrounds us in a relationship. Communication is not only what is said but what is heard. It is not only what is said but what is felt.
How does the communication you are contributing in a relationship make the other person in that relationship feel? If you’re sending negative waves into that other person’s life, is that likely to inspire positive waves in your direction?
Paul gave us another great teaching on this subject when he wrote, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for the building up of others, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29)
Dick Woodward, 05 February 2011