There is much more to communication than meets the ear. We've all heard it cited "loose lips sink ships" and we've read what James had to say in chapter 3 verses 1-10 regarding the untamable tongue. But what constitutes communication? Where do people go wrong in relational conflicts or marital communication breakdowns? When someone we love storms off in fury what we often do is throw our hands up in the air and ask "what did I say wrong?" We then attempt to repair the damage done by a selection of carefully chosen words.
The reality is that very little of our communication is in the form of audible words.
7% to be exact, according to recent studies, of what we communicate is the result of the words that we say, or the content of our communication. Very little of our communication with others is really what is being said. While someone listens to what we are saying nodding their head smiling, are we sure that our audience is hearing what we are saying? What are we really communicating?
Words are just containers of thought, spirit and vibration. We must calculate with the 7% of communication 2 other factors: "verbal behavior" and "nonverbal communication".
38% of our communication to others is a result of our verbal behavior. Verbal behavior includes tone of voice, timbre, tempo, and volume. It does not take an Einstein to know that the way something is said supersedes the selection of words used to deliver the thought.
55% of our communication to others is a result of our nonverbal communication. Non-verbal communication is in our body posture, breathing, skin color and blush as well as our movement - also known as body language.
Thus 93% of our communication cannot be really controlled. The spirit of what we say, or our body language and facial expression betrays our words if what we are thinking contrasts what we are actually saying. Built inside people is an antenna that interprets what's behind the words and actions, thus they know when someone really loves them when they hear "I love you"
The key is in Mat 15.18 "...for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh". What we hold in our hearts and minds about people will always be communicated to them no matter the words we choose to use. What needs to be changed is how we think about those we communicate with or those we may be in conflict with.
Behind every word that God speaks to you and I are the multitudinous thoughts of peace and love - Jer 29.11. God's thoughts towards us pack the Words He speaks to us, thus the tone, the Spirit and the vibration we experience when we Hear God's words is consistent with what He is thinking. His words are never clouded with the shadow of inconsistent thoughts with love and grace - thus He never changes in His mood. This breeds trust and faith in our relationship with God.
Thus the solution in our discussion. We must guard our heart and thoughts about others. Hold people in the dear light of God's love and how He thinks of them. Think of how God loved Israel in her backsliding in the book of Hosea and how God though pressed by the wandering of His people, never forsook His Covenant of Love with His People.
A pastor, a father, a husband must lead those he influences by quietly and secretly holding God's People in the embrace of God's perspective. When we spend more time loving people, forgiving people, and cherishing people in our hearts and minds; it transforms our communication. It spontaneously revives joy, love and trust in our relationships.
Transformation in our communication and resolution to our relational conflicts is not in carefully selecting words or actions but is found in a change of the content of our thoughts about those we struggle with.