This morning, I sent a message to a friend and didn’t notice the typo I’d made before I pressed send. As a result, I asked someone, “How are your guts”, which was kinda weird, rather than “how are you guys?

It reminded me how easy it is to miscommunicate and that we can all inadvertently say the wrong thing or offend people whether we mean to or not.

My husband and I have been married for 31 years this year. We have six children, and with our busy schedules and that many people in a house, you learn, often the hard way, how to navigate one another, give each other space and seek to hear the other person’s heart and not just their words.

We constantly have to be aware of our tendencies to transfer emotions from other relationships or experiences onto the situation in front of us; when we don’t watch this space, what entails is yelling, division, strife and chaos.   

Over the years, I’ve discovered that peace and strength in our relationships comes from consistently choosing to be patient, kind, humble and forgiving. 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 a student of good communication and a desire to hone our people skills that enables us to get along with people because let’s face it, people can be hard work, plus we all want our own way.

Relationships of any sort take work and time to develop, but in putting in the effort with others, 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 character is 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)

Today I encourage you to take a breath before you speak or press send on a message (proof reading is a great thing), and especially if you’re feeling annoyed with those around you.

Most of all, I encourage you to ask God to fill your heart with His love which never fails. Determine to 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 what people mean (especially if you get a weird text message), examine your reactions, and seek to walk in love.

“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 or make a mistake, please cover it with your love and grace and help me to trust you with my heart and relationships. In Jesus name Amen.