Do You Hear Me Now?


Do you remember the game of telephone? You get everyone in a circle and whisper a message to the first person and they whisper it to the next and then to the next… and you wait with anticipation to hear what the last person has to say as they repeat what they have heard. Almost always it is different from the message that you began with. Roy T. Bennett says that we should, “Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.”

Wouldn’t it be great if we could communicate better. We would be able to work together and to accomplish amazing things if we could only understand one another better! Right?! As with so many things, even good things become corrupted and in Genesis 11 we see some great communication among the people of the day; they were planning to build a tower to the heavens. Sadly, we also see the corruption of the mind and culture displayed in that same passage and in their attitudes.

The people saw their capabilities and decided to build a massive structure- a tower- a ziggurat. They wanted to make a tower to God- to become famous- and to keep them united under this new religion. They were using manmade materials, and they were doing it themselves- they hadn’t sought God as they had before. In their arrogance and pride, they thought they could get to God on their own terms. They had lost the awe of the almighty God; they had turned their minds to follow their own version of god and instead were worshipping themselves and their ingenuity. The ‘tower’ they built was their way of saying we’re going to have god on our terms- we are invincible together and we can have god anyway we like- we can even go up to heaven and do it ‘our way!’

God created humankind with great intelligence and drive. He also created them with free will- the will to choose to use their gifts and resources in serving and loving Him or in serving themselves. Sadly, by this time in the world, once again the people were all about themselves. God looked at the people and the building and knew it was time to shake things up. Time to disrupt the communication of all the people so that they would struggle to make themselves understood by the others. And with the lack of communication the building stopped- no one understood the other. They dispersed and those that spoke similar languages set off together. God didn’t want to destroy them again; He wanted their attention and to protect them from themselves. If they continued the path they were on, they would have left Him totally out of their lives and eventually suffer the consequences of a godless life. (eternity without Him) This happens to us too, when we don’t understand each other it is like a huge barrier that prevents us from going any further in our relationships.

So what makes for good communication? If you would like to improve communication in your relationship with God, with people, with others you need to focus on three things:

First, try to understand and communicate your emotions. Unhealthy communication starts with negative thoughts or difficult emotions. Use I words, not you and no finger pointing!!! Solomon wrote, “Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24.

Second, be aware of your inner lens which is responsible for how you decode a message. We all have life experiences that filter what we hear with our ears and minds. Focus on the facts of the message and use questions to clarify whether you understood what the other person was trying to tell you. Paraphrasing is a great tool when you are unsure whether what you have understood is what the other person was trying to say. Simply use your own words to summarize how you understood the message.

And third, listening is a better skill to practice than talking. God gave us two ears and one mouth—‘nough said! James wrote, “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19.

The people of Babel weren’t communicating with God anymore, they were trying to find a short cut to god. They could communicate well with each other but had totally missed communicating with the one who loved them more than anyone else and the one that created them and gave them life. For those in that day- they had lost touch and their communication lines were down with God. He was there- but they had no interest in speaking to Him or in listening to Him.

Today we too need to be reminded that there is only one way to God and that is through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the father except through me.” Jesus spent time in prayer each day with His Father God and He was our example of daily communication with God too. We listen to God through the reading of His Word, going to church, growing with other believers in small groups. Before anything else- to hear God, we must have a relationship with Him. We can be honest with Him and we need to spend time- not just in passing, not just the leftovers at the end of the week- but quality communication. You may need to set aside time to read the Bible and pray and listen. When we pray God hears us. When we are following Him, He hears us. When we give Him our undivided attention- He is there.

God is reaching out to you, “Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool!” Isaiah 1:18.

It’s time you learned to communicate, with God and with the people in your life. God gave you and I the gift of language and relationship. God calls us to communicate with people so that we will be able to share with them more accurately the truth of God, who He is and that He is for them. The reception is clear and open to all— God always hears you. Can you hear Him now?