There are days when I can feel very misunderstood and no matter how hard I try I can still miscommunicate or people can presume things about me and what I have meant. Primarily because all of us perceive and process things differently and we can be a little broken at different times, which can lead to issues in how we relate to others.

There have been many occasions when my husband and I in our 30 years of marriage have misunderstood each other or become frustrated at a conversation. I’ve hesitated to say how I feel for fear of getting hurt or not wanting to have an argument, which led to me getting frustrated and defensive at his lack of understanding, and he’s become annoyed and either had a verbal outburst or shut down. We’ve had to learn to navigate one another, to give each other space and to seek to hear the other’s heart and not just the words, which often can come out wrong and be misconstrued because of our own issues and brokenness. We’ve had to be aware of our tendencies to transfer emotions from other relationships or experiences onto the other person.

But most of all we’ve learnt to choose over and over to be patient, kind, humble and forgiving and to put into practice what God says in that “Love covers a multitude of sin, so love each other deeply.” (1 Peter 4:8)

It takes effort and being students of good communication and honing our people skills to be able to get along with people, because let’s face it people can be hard work and we also all want our own way. It requires us on a daily basis to desire to grow and develop our emotional intelligence, self awareness and a willingness to walk in grace and understanding.

Today I encourage you to pause and take a breathe if you are feeling annoyed, misunderstood and frustrated with those around you. Relationships of any sort take work and time to develop, but it’s in putting in the effort with others that we grow our skills to communicate and develop into the person God made us to be. It’s also in relationships that our personality and characters are either sharpened up or sanded back to bring out the best in us. “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)

Most of all I encourage you to ask God to fill your heart with His love which never fails. Determine to really seek to hear other people’s hearts regarding what they are doing or saying, rather than jumping to conclusions about what you think they may have meant. As I say, “presumption is the mother of all stuff up’s” so don’t presume you know what other’s mean when you may not. Find out properly, examine your reactions and why you’re behaving the way you are before drawing conclusions and beliefs about the people in your world.

“The intentions of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” (Proverbs 20:5)

Don’t say anything that would hurt another person. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you.” (Ephesians 4:29)

Prayer: Lord please help me to communicate better and to make myself understood. Where I fail please cover it with your love and grace and help me to trust you with my heart and relationships. In Jesus name Amen.