Have you ever reviewed a conversation in your mind at the end of the day and suddenly realized that what you said to someone was understood differently than what you really intended?

It has been said, “we must listen to understand and not to reply.” It is also imperative for us to speak in such a way which promotes understanding. This includes everything from what we say to how we say it.

There’s a story told which illustrates this point about miscommunication with a conversation between a rich Texas rancher and a poor Tennessee farmer.

The rich rancher wanted to describe his vast land in Texas and remarked, “I can wake up at dawn and hop in the truck and drive till noon before I reach the end of my property.”

The poor farmer responded, “Yeah, I have an old truck that will break down like that too!”

So, remember when we are “communicating,” make sure to take into account the context of another’s life and feelings. What we say and how we say it must promote understanding too.

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

(Prov. 18:21)

Laws Rushing, Chaplain

Director of Spiritual Care

Nashville Community Care and Rehabilitation

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