Many years ago one of my primary mentors in the business world told me, "The quality of our life is the result of the quality of our communication". In the years since, I have seen the reality of that truth play out in every way imaginable. Being a natural Type A, choleric personality I have learned some hard lessons from the mistakes I've made in the quality of my communication.
Its easy to assume that what I believe and want to see occur is always right. I suppose it goes all the way back to my early training which centered around the assumption that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to do. And, although that isn't an entirely bad way for a young kid to think, if it isn't balanced in some way, in the long run it can result in more failure than success. I've witnessed the breakdown of some truly good men and women who assumed that everyone should think like them, act and talk like them and achieve like them. The weakness in that assumption is this - regardless of how talented, driven or confident one might be, none of us can achieve success in any venture without the input and contribution of others. So, we come back to the obvious truth, "the quality of my life is the result of the quality of my communication".
At the outset of his earthly ministry Jesus put communication on the table as a spiritual deal breaker -
"No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:43-45 NIV
"I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." Matthew 12:36-37 NIV
One of the truly priceless gifts God has given to us to train our hearts in the art of communication is his Holy Spirit. But, we must allow the Spirit to interact with our own spirit through both his revelation in the Bible and through his personal presence within us. Paul had much to say about this to the early disciples and to us.
"The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
"We have an obligation - but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." Rom 8:6,12-14
So, I am either ruled by an evil dictator that is leading me to "death", or a God ordained dictator who is training me for a life of "peace". One of the most obvious ways you and others in your life can determine which dictator is your ruler is by the quality of your communication.
More to come later. Stay with me.