It's Good To Talk

It’s Good To Talk

18th October 2015

I’m sure I once read in one of David Watson’s books that Christianity is all about relationships. And two of the key components of good relationships are talking and listening. Talking and listening go together. There is no point in talking unless someone is listening and there’s no point in listening unless someone is talking. And when both of them are happening effectively together, there is a relationship.

When we don’t talk or listen to each other, relationships tend to break down. When we don’t talk to each other, the person keeping silent is unable to express themselves and this can cause them problems such as becoming isolated or frustrated. And the person who isn’t hearing anything from the other is ignorant of the other’s needs or feelings and worst of all they are can only guess what the other is thinking.

Sadly, I have seen and experienced too many instances of Christians not talking or listening to each other and this normally leads to trouble in the church. This can occur for a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s because we don’t want to listen to others and we effectively silence them by our behaviour. This is especially true when people are suffering and we don’t want to hear their sorrowful language or sad story. There is a mistaken belief by some in the church that Christians should “always look on the bright side of life” as the Monty Python song goes. There is no more destructive or crushing thing to say to a Christian who is suffering than to tell them to “be positive”. Sometimes we don’t talk to other Christians because we are afraid of how they will react. This is usually with good reason but sometimes it is irrational.

I could give many examples of why we don’t talk or listen to each other but no matter what they are they are fundamentally born out of sin. When we talk to each other in the church we must do so in love and humility. There is no other acceptable way; all other ways are ultimately destructive. And when we listen to each other we must do so in love and without judgement or prejudice. Unless we do this we will not truly hear what the other person is saying. So, I urge all Christians to keep talking and listening to each other in love for the sake of the unity and effectiveness of the church.