Communication is a two way process. There is one party distributing information and another receiving it. Sometimes the information is given and received as intended and other times it is not. When the message is unclear, it can be that it was given poorly or that it was received poorly.
Mankind is incapable of not communicating. A person does not have to say a word to send a message. A look, a gesture, facial expression, a clearing of the throat, the way you might be sitting or standing all of these things will communicate something to other people.
One aspect of communication that many, including this writer, have need of improving is the art of listening. Many times, if we are not careful, our focus is split and we do not really hear to understand the intended message.
James 1:19-20 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
This passage shows us how important listening is to the God of Heaven. He puts this here for several reasons. The idea of being quick to hear and slow to speak, what does this mean to you? Have you been in a conversation where you just knew the thing the person was going to say? So, you interrupt and give your thoughts before the person can even finish a sentence.
There is a technique that may help us all in not doing this and practice the admonition in James. It is sometimes called “mirror” or “reciprocal” listening. It goes something like this, one person speaks and the recipient repeats, in their words, what is said. Then there is no question if they heard the message correctly. It also gives the first person a chance to correct any misunderstanding.
When you first begin doing this, it may seem awkward, but it guarantees that the message sent is the one received.
Another aspect of proper listening is deciding to fully focus on the speaker. It is said that communication is over 80% nonverbal, so proper attention is needed by the listener to get the full message.
There is one who will never grow tired of communicating with you. God. He communicates clearly to us in the Bible, are you listening to Him? Read and study the Bible daily. Then talk to God through the privilege of prayer. Tell Him all your failures, successes, joys and sorrows. He truly will hear you.