Elul 27 Love delights in the Truth
Communication is something we have to work hard at. There are so many ways miscommunication can happen. We exacerbate our problems when we try to read facial expressions and body language, when we assume rather than ask outright, and when we put words in other people’s mouths that were never said.
When we were kids we used to play a game called “telephone” where data was transferred from person to person around the room. As the original message was whispered from ear to ear, there was usually such distortion that you could barely recognize it when compared to the final answer.. Some of the words sounded alike or rhymed with the original words but the meaning was usually pretty warped or lost altogether.
Even if you are dealing with the original source of information, it takes diligent effort and lots of good questions to actually get a full and complete view of feelings, situations and facts. It is easy to think you are getting the facts but you listen with a filter and often that filter distorts the message before you even begin to transmit it. That is why in counseling you are taught to mirror back what your partner said tom make sure you understand and have heard the entire message. So when you get a communication from a 2nd party there is usually some distortion. How careful are you when you pass on stories you have heard from others?
Having knowledge that others do not know yet can be a power play for some people...because they are “in the know” and others aren’t yet. Even prayer chains can be used to pass on “new news” and divulge private information. Do you ever share knowledge that you don’t have permission to share yet or have been told in confidence? We must deny our desire to be “in the know” by not spreading around what we are unsure of. Rumors can be very damaging.
Partial information is misinformation. Vague answers beg us to fill in the gaps. The bible tells us that we will account for every idle word we speak. I know you are very aware that we need to be careful whenever we open our mouths...that cannot be stated enough. We are told that our tongues can set “wildfires” into motion! And the destruction comes with great loss.
The bible is very clear about the slippery slope of purposely misleading people. We can do this by distorting the truth (outright lying or being even as innocently as not remembering the facts correctly). We can withhold pertinent details to make ourselves look better. The Word says that lying was a part of our former life but has no place in our transformed Holy Spirit led choices.
Little white lies that are supposedly to make people feel better (Like…”No, that doesn’t make you look fat!”) but they still fall short of the truth. We tell people what they want to hear rather than what we really are thinking… Often we fudge the truth to get out of situations when we could just use a simple “yes” or “no.” We embellish or make up excuses to satisfy others so they won’t be mad or look down on us. Is your “yes” a yes and your “no” a no without the need to further explain or fabricate excuses?
Where are you letting lies and/or assumptions slip in? How have they caused you problems? Confess and repent. Work hard to answer completely honestly even when it would be easier/more comfortable to “shade the truth.” and be wary of sharing stories that you have heard about others.
Follow the season of Teshuvah during this Month of Elul with Guest blogger Denise Dee Lytle Gibbs who originally posted these blogs on her Facebook page Fall Feast Prayer Initiative.