"Is not the arrow beyond you?" 1 Samuel 20:37b ESV
Ole, Lars and Sven went deer hunting. Sven said to Ole and Lars, "I vill go south into de prairie grass. You two head north into de grove of trees. If you get lost, fire three shots into de air so dat I vill be able to find you."
Ole and Lars agreed and set off into the trees. About a half hour later they were lost and Lars fired three shots into the air. When Sven didn't show up, Ole suggested that Lars try again. "Yah, sure, you betcha, Ole, dat vould be a good idea," said Lars, "but I haf already used up almost all of de arrows."
Communication needs to be clear and effective. How can people know what we need and want unless we tell them in ways that they can hear and understand? Many misunderstandings between individuals and even nations are the result of faulty communication. Sometimes we didn't hear correctly what the other person said. It could be their fault, ours or both.
Even sadder, sometimes we don't want to hear what someone else is saying. We've got our minds made up and won't listen to what is really being said. Misunderstandings can be the result of many different things: poor communication skills, deception, stubbornness or self-centeredness, not letting the other person say what is important to them.
Dear Lord, we confess that sometimes our communications skills are severely lacking. We don't listen to You the way that we should. Sometimes our minds are so full of what we think is right that we have no room for other people's opinions. Remind us that You are the only one who is always right. Help us measure all opinions, especially our own, against Your words to us. Teach us how to be clear and gentle-hearted as we communicate with You and others. In Jesus' name, Amen