Few people have ever heard of the book The Trauma of Transparency. The graphics in it are dated, and some of the language is archaic, but it is a great read. Most people understand that communication is good, but not all communication is equal. Some communication is downright painful (especially when it comes from someone close). The author writes:
“When someone has wounded us with words, our natural tendency is to fire a semantic salve right back at them. The response of a wounded ego is retaliation. Get even… Once we get even — we get out of range.”
I call that style of communication: HIT AND RUN.
People who attend the same church, sit on the same row and serve in the same committee aren’t even immune to toxic communication. Many pastors grieve over the differences between church members. Settling disputes and healing wounds (sometimes decades old) is not easy for many pastors. In reality, many pastors are not trained in conflict resolution.
The author suggests three ways to reframe conflict… and it all centers around a relationship. We all need these three things to be an effective communicator:
I need a relationship with a Person From Whom I Cannot Hide.
I need a Person At Whom I can [holler at] but Who Gives Me No Cause To and Won’t Be Offended if I Do.
I need a relationship with a Person Who Will Always Tell Me the Truth.
Only one person meets all those criteria… God. How are you doing with your communication with Him? How can you encourage those whom you serve to strengthen their communication with Him?
To renew, restore and strengthen Christian leaders and their families