Most people fall into two categories when it comes to communication. We either OVER-communicate or we UNDER-communicate. When it comes to relationships with other people, this can cause quite a few frustrations.
If an over-communicator, talks with an under-communicator….one or both will be come frustrated at the other due to a simple lack of understanding. Over-communicators get pegged as intense, overwhelming, and overbearing while under-communicators are labeled as insensitive, rejecting, and withdrawn.
The funny thing is that neither of these things are necessarily true. Someone who enjoys communication typically shows love in that way. Someone who doesn’t need to communicate with words as much, tends to love more in action. That being said the terms “overwhelming” and “withdrawn” are not bad terms. God’s love IS overwhelming and therefore it’s hard to share HIS love without also having that trait. On the other side, Christ also “withdrew” (Luke 22:41-42) in order to pray and did so quite often.
The tough part is finding a balance between the two so that we can effectively share God’s love with more people while also showing more grace to our brothers and sisters that fall into one of these categories.
There’s one fundamental problem though when we approach God with either of these communication “styles.”
If we are constantly talking to God, then we aren’t letting Him get a word in and therefore aren’t listening to what He wants to tell us, possibly from a fear that He’ll actually answer us.
If we are not talking to God very much, then we also aren’t letting Him get a word in and often don’t want Him to for fear of what He might say/ask of us.
So regardless of whether we over/under-communicate the result is the same when we approach our father in this way.
Christ spent a lot of time preaching and talking, but He also spent a good amount of time just listening to the Father and BEING with the Father.
This is who we need to model after. Show grace to one another, as we all are learning how to communicate as Christ would. He created us to be in community and communion with Him and in order to do so, there needs to be communication. Funny how all three things have the same root word.
For over-communicators: Practice listening more and speaking less. God knows how you feel and so do others. Now’s your chance to turn your words into action and a greater ability to listen to what God wants from you so that you can love effectively and not just in an overwhelming way. God is overwhelming and so is His love. It is good to model that, but not at the cost of drowning out your brothers and sisters who have the same call to love. Focus love better by listening more.
For under-communicators: Practice communicating with others. While your communication with God may be great, He also calls us to share His love even when it’s tough to do so. While others may be overwhelming in the way they share love, understand that if we were to see the full extent of God’s love…”overwhelming” wouldn’t even begin to describe it. So rather than reject the overwhelming, help others learn how to focus that in the way God would have them do so.
MOST importantly…do all these things with love and with grace.
1 Corinthians 13:1-2
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.