Two-Way Streets of Communication

April 10, 2015

“For if I make you sorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?” (2Corinthians 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 that street with a dynamic impact on that relationship.  Jesus states 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 relevant marketplace metaphor at the time of Christ.  If you were selling oats and a fellow merchant in the marketplace was selling wheat, when you bought from each other you could request to use their bushel standard of measurement.  Paraphrased, this is saying that whatever standard you use when you give to the other person in a relationship, they will use that same standard when they give to you. All of this means that we cannot control the weather or rainy days, 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 them to send 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)

I challenge you to apply these teachings of Jesus and Paul in your relationships.

Dick Woodward, 05 February 2011


Specks and Planks

June 15, 2012

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7: 3-5 NIV)

Jesus had a great sense of humor; I have long imagined He spoke these words with a smile on His face.  They are, however, very wise and profound words.  The way we perceive other people has everything to do with our relationships with them.

The story is told of two psychiatrists who rode the same subway every day to their office building.  Every morning one got off the elevator at the sixth floor and the other at the tenth floor.  One morning before the sixth floor psychiatrist got off the elevator he spit in the face of the other psychiatrist.  This happened every morning that week. On Friday the elevator operator asked the tenth floor psychiatrist, “Aren’t you going to do something about this?” He responded, “That’s not my problem.  That’s his problem.  He has a problem.  He spits on people.  But that’s not my problem.  He needs to get his head read.”

Very few of us are that secure.  But if we were we would know that it takes a strong person to not retaliate.  If we have a wholesome and positive evaluation of ourselves, and others with whom we have relationships, we would not play games like specks and planks.