“You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself?” Romans 2:21
Have you ever felt as though you were not being heard? You share opinions and they go no where? Have you ever finished a conversation and walked away not having a clue about what was just talked about? Have you ever taught a lesson or given a dissertation and wondered did anybody get this? I have had these questions on many occasions and for a while I just lived with them until God stepped in and challenged me to change. The “Change”, was defined by the Spirit in the area of teachable moments. Those moments in life, when you can have wisdom imparted into you or where you can impart wisdom into someone else. Teachable moments are pivotal in relationship with God, family and friends. My thoughts today are targeted at how we communicate during those teachable moments.
God is so good, have you ever thought of all the teachable moments God has for us. Think about it: God desiring to give direction through the Spirit working in us, through the Word, and through other Christian’s stories. I stand amazed at all the opportunities to learn from what He gives us and yet I also stand amazed at the many missed opportunities. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would turn down God, some may say well “I didn’t know it was Him”, while other’s may say “He needs to be clearer”, or better yet “I didn’t know He cared”. We can all come up with reasons for why we miss out on those teachable moments. It may be because we are good one way communicators, in other words we do all the talking. We turn to God when a crisis hits, circumstances become unbearable, or we are desperate. For others things can be truly not going well and we still won’t turn to God. The reality is that God has such great things in store for us. The question is, are we receptive and teachable?
Working with children, and being a parent, I am determined to prioritize strengthening my communication skills. The disciplines of being able to talk, listen, and comprehend fully where people are coming from. It is a discipline that the more prioritized the more I learn about. Just for the fun of it let’s look at a few scenarios to better understand communication and teachable moments.
Scenario 1: A student has a lapse in judgment, when you try to correct the student you just give the consequence without explanation. The student see’s and reacts to the consequence without understanding what they did wrong.
Scenario 2: A father and son, the son wants to play baseball one evening, the father says well get your glove. After a few minutes the father storms in frustrated with the child, unaware that the child just wanted to play a fun game and not go through the fundamentals of baseball.
Scenario 3: A mother just found out that her daughter was being bullied at school. She asks her to explain what has been going on? Before she is able to complete her thought, due to nerves or fear, the mother begins to lecture or empathize.
Scenario 4: The I know it all’s, these are the adults, and children of all ages that seem to think that they are knowledgeable in all areas thus you can’t tell them anything.
In each scenario there was a breakdown at some level in communication. In the first example, though the student did wrong, the teacher did not take advantage of a valuable opportunity to clearly explain the punishment. In our second example, the father comprehended great the opportunity to impart their knowledge of the sport, while the child just simply wanted to run and have fun. The third example, one that is very common is to take the time to listen. In this example the daughter might have been in a world of pain and the teachable moment was missed (do not assume you know what they are feeling). Our last example can be the most challenging and frustrating. It stretches me all the time, I am calmly communicating to a person and giving some guidance and every word that is given in response is “I know”, “I did” etc. especially prior to the sentence being finished the answer is “I Know”.
In conclusion, live life, enjoy it, don’t miss out, and receive all that God desires for you. Be determined and disciplined in you communication skills. It takes work and training; it won’t happen via osmosis. Begin with your commitment to ta