Part 1: Communication and commitment.
Within the last decade or so, much of how we do life has changed. It is a “fast world” we are living in, with so much change happening every minute. Each hour our brain absorbs so much information through being connected to the media in various ways. Communication is constantly happening. No matter whether we like it or not we are part of this rapidly changing, dynamic world. I believe being able to effectively, genuinely and truthfully communicate is one of the most important skills a person could have.
A friend of mine once said, “The most attractive quality people could have nowadays is that they mean what they say. It is so refreshing.” We long for this!
I believe we are living in a time of so much opportunity, so many platforms in which we easily connect with people. In the midst of this we need to learn how to navigate our lives in a way that we continue building relationships on the foundation of trust. We do this through knowing what our priorities are, who people are to us, and fully, excitingly devoting ourselves to these, when we say we will.
Because there is so much opportunity, I see so many people not commit. It can be as simple as hitting the ‘maybe’ button from your friends Facebook invitation for his birthday party. Or inviting your coworker over for dinner, but ‘changing your mind’ half an hour later because you want to watch that latest Netflix episode with your roommate who asked you just after that. We don’t know how we’ll feel next week, so how would we be able to say yes or no to something when you ask us today?
Another dear friend of mind and I had Skyped about a trip we wanted to do with a few people. He knew me and another friend had to soon book locations and tickets. He would get back to me shortly after he found out with his work. A month later, after having texted him a few times, he replied with: “I am so sorry for not replying. Somehow I managed to stay away from Facebook for way too long. “
This is not the exception; this is what is normal now. I see many amazing, quality people who deeply care about people, and love well, communicate poorly. As you saw in this example, we sometimes hide behind Facebook or ‘I did not see your text’. When a friend asks us out for coffee we say, “I’d love to”, but do we really mean that? Are we afraid to commit? Are we hoping for a better opportunity? Do we sometimes actually want to communicate, but do not know how? Are we afraid to let people down if we would actually say we couldn’t make it right away, so we let them find out through Facebook just before the event starts?
How do you make decisions?
I would like to propose that we sometimes try to protect this thing called opportunity, but are missing out on great connections built on trust, faithfulness, and love.
Wholehearted living is a beautiful thing. Having a big ‘yes’ to certain people, your work commitments, your church, etc. are part of that. It is a rewarding life, very rich in quality. At the same time that big YES also automatically means you have a ‘no’ for other things. That is not wrong, it is simply part of life. It is natural. Knowing your ‘yes’s’ and ‘no’s’ for yourself in the season of life you are in will help you so much in making decisions and through that you will be able to communicate in an effective and genuine way with those around you. Your relationships will flourish, as the people around you can trust you when you say: “I will think about it.” They do not have to second-guess whether you really mean it or whether you will actually give it a thought instead of thinking you meant that you weren’t truly interested.
Be an active communicator, not a passive one.
Don’t we all long for genuine, transparent communication in which motivation and intention are clear? In the next blog, you’ll read more on how to communicate your heart and what it looks like to choose your communication style.
Esther (Guest writer for the Millennial Christian Woman blog)