Can you hear me?

This has really come into focus for me lately. People, for the most part, don’t get what you’re trying to say. I like to pretend that people get everything I try to say the first time I say it, and to repeat myself is to just be annoying.

Not so. Whether teaching, social media, sales, or just a simple conversation with your family, people struggle to understand one another.

First of all, there are so many things vying for our attention that we struggle to establish our own relevance. Like the teacher’s voice in the Charlie Brown specials, much of what we try to say is just background noise to others.

Then people just don’t get it. I don’t know how many times I’ve thought I’ve explained myself clearly, but, when people give me feedback, I realize they took my words and injected their own meaning into them—meaning I never intended.

Finally, some people second guess our motives. We mean well, but our message is received as malice rather than medicine. This, unfortunately, seems to happen most with those who are closest to us.

Even Jesus had to deal with this. He was constantly misunderstood. His motives were suspect. His message wasn’t heard.

I could, and sometimes do, get discouraged by all of this. But, in a way, I’m energized by it. It says to me that tomorrow is a new day, and tomorrow I find a new way to say what I’ve been trying to say all along. The next day, I’ll get up and find another way to say it. Eventually, I (and you, if you persist) will break through. People will begin to understand. And then, things will change.

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