Inspirations From The Mountains

August 10, 2009

     Rub a cat’s fur the wrong way and what do you get? The fur flies and your kitty may just retaliate with her claws. That’s what our cat, Princess, does to me. And that is what Believers sometimes do to one another.
   Miscommunication is one of the greatest threats to unity in the church. How often church problems have occurred because folks just didn’t understand each other. There are folks who often rub others the wrong way, but the solution is to get to know, really know, that person. And getting to know others takes the right kind of communication.  Many folks have difficulty communicating because they don’t know how. Talking is only one way to communicate. Others include spending time together, serving each other, giving and receiving gifts and appropriate physical touch. 
     But not every person communicates the same way. As God-created individuals we are all unique. Our ability to communicate comes from two things: the temperament we were born with (bold or timid, strong willed or laid back), and our environment. How did our parents communicate with us. Was our home filled with love or anger? Did we feel secure or insecure? Were our needs provided for or were we in want? What kind of relationships did we have with other family members? How did our parents communicate with each other? Did our family get and give appropriate touch, or abuse instead.  All these things have a definite bearing on how we communicate with others.
      Our relationships with each other should be the same relationship as Christ and the church. So how do we talk to Christ? Whining, complaining, nagging, fault-finding, clamming up? Never! How does Jesus talk to the Church? Through the ministry of our leaders, through our thought life, and through reading His Word.
      Here are some Bible tips for communicating with others: Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one (Salt heals and preserves). (Colossians 3:6)  A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger. (Proverbs 15:1) Through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:14) So then my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. (James 1:19-20) 
     Now evaluate your relationships in the light of these scriptures, and then consider each other’s temperament and childhood environment. If I don’t rub Princess the wrong way, the fur doesn’t fly and she and I get along well. And if we don’t rub each other the wrong way, the fur won’t fly in our church families either. This is one key to keeping peace among the brethren. –Rebecca Somoskey