The high pitched cry of an infant nestled so tenderly and lovingly in its mother’s arms breaks the stillness of the night. After but a short while, the cry is hushed and once again contentment and silence reigns.
Now the scene changes, and some years later that now greying son firmly but gently clasps the hand of that now aged bed-ridden mother. Her thin and weary face betrays an inner attitude of peace and contentment.
In both situations of life no words were spoken; nevertheless, communications were established in a meaningful manner.
Without a doubt, it is through the five senses man possesses that he is able to transmit and communicate something of himself to others. These natural gifts are not only common to man; but also in the creature world of fish, fowl, beast, and insect. One can observe in them the divinely created wonder of touch, smell, sight, hearing, and taste.
Who can explain in depth how some birds fly uncharted courses from pole to pole? How the mother sheep know its young among untold hundreds of other sheep. All five senses, either alone or in combination, are vital in their existence and survival. To the hunter, it may be frustrating; but to the white tailed deer, the smell of danger is signaled by the white flag going up, and away they go.
But if we would stop there, we haven’t said near enough. One distinct gift separates God’s highest creature from all the rest of His creation.
This gift is SPEECH.
Man’s ability to speak and form words not only makes him unique but also sets him apart as a moral rational creature accountable to his Creator. By speaking, he possesses an instrument sharper than a razor and sweeter than honey.
In James 3:5-12, the Holy Spirit through the writer presents a vivid and comprehensive description of that member…the tongue. Note chapter 3 of that Epistle begins by saying, “My brethren” etc. Verses 8 and 10 say the following:
- “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
- Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
- Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”
Sad commentary of ourselves, is it not?
But you ask, “Is there no escape from this just judgment?” To be sure! The apostle Paul in the book of Romans has these words of consolation and victory. “For Christ has set us free from the law of sin that warreth in our members and has set us free from the law of sin and death. We are no longer to walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Let us now return to our heading, and attempt to define “communications.” I would say in its broadest concept, it is that ability of expression in words and in deeds, whereupon we sincerely put forth every effort of our being to unite ourselves and promote our lives for the glory of God and for the well-being of our spiritual brother. We strive for this goal not by way of doctrinal compromise or by ignoring authority; but through faith with patience, understanding, and other spiritual virtues.
The basic make-up of society begins with the family. But a family is composed of individual members. All have their own personalities, characteristics, physical and mental abilities and limitations…even some peculiarities. To function properly and orderly, that family has to have complete communications and discipline amongst each other. When that breaks down, either between husband and wife, or between children and their parents, you can rest assured the ice is becoming mighty thin. If that situation becomes unresolved and sinful pride prevents reconciliation, you had better know the fruit will be thorns and thistles. Isn’t it typical of us that with a very young child, we as parents urge and coax him or her to walk and to talk? From then on in, they have to be constantly reminded to sit down and be quiet.
As in the home, so in the school, you also have the necessity of proper communication being maintained. Teachers, pupils, School Boards, Societies, PTA’s are involved in conveying and responding to the needs not only of the system, but also to the person. Difficult as it may be, sometimes this can only be gained on a person-to-person basis. To achieve respect, harmony, and unity either in the home or in the school, communication is vital. And it is a two way street.
Communication is not just a philosophy that says, “Don’t do as I do, but do as I say”; nor a policy that says, “This is your school” and then fails to recognize the voice and responsibility of the membership.
In closing, I have this yet to say: What is the glue (bond) that holds things together and can make us function as we ought? Charity. No, not a wishy, washy Charlie Brown type of love, but rather let me refer you to the well-known chapter of 1 Corinthians 13.
Galatians 6:12 is also very fitting and instructive. “Brethren if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Look to yourself lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burden, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Revised Standard Version).