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Top View of a Road in the Forest

Do you know how to speak?

I’ve been learning to speak for a long time… You heard right, I’m learning to speak. Speak specifically, openly, clearly and understandably. And it’s even more difficult to learn the skill of listening.

I noticed that we know how to chat, chatter, gossip, but we don’t know how to speak.

Tensions, resentments and irritations arise between us. And most often this happens due to a misunderstanding. Because… we don’t know how to talk. Instead of openly asking the other person, “What did you mean when you said…?”

For example, someone will call you a pigeon. If your experience and understanding is that a dove is a stupid bird that doesn’t even know how to make a nest, you will be offended… But if your understanding is that a dove is a symbol of peace and a messenger of good news, you will be glad.

Or they will call you a chicken (sorry, this time it’s about birds). If you think that a chicken can only cluck, you will hear an insult. If you know that a chicken is a valuable, caring bird, and you notice how different and beautiful chickens are, it will be an honor.

Unfortunately, we are afraid or do not want to find out what the interlocutor really meant. Instead, we go to others and retell what was said according to our understanding, adding our own emotions. And misunderstanding is already gaining momentum. What is said grows with the understanding and emotions of the listener. And what has been said has already acquired “added value.” Moreover, if the one to whom the story is told is not a peacemaker, but a lover of quarrels. Then the drama can begin… The audience not only takes their seats, but also actively participates…

His talk is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart, his words are more soothing than oil,  yet they are drawn swords. Psalms 55: 21

Was I afraid or didn’t want to know how to understand what the other person said? Yes! Was I a participant in the theater of rumors? Yes! And every time I had to regret that I had expressed myself unclearly. Because what is said is conveyed like a curved pass of a ball that should end up in the gossip basket. Now I try to talk less (sometimes I even put my hand to my mouth so as not to blurt out some random word that could get woven into the web of rumors).

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2

 In the BIBLE we can read that we will have to answer for every word we say! That we are not obliged to participate where dishonest conversations are heard! That we need to talk less and talk the truth!

Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given. Proverbs 25:11

But will I be less guilty if I only listen to the wrong conversations?

But often in the play of rumors we are not only spectators, but also actors and directors. We are surprised that the relationship is deteriorating, that we do not want to see each other… We defend ourselves, although no one attacks us… We listen, but do not hear. We shoot words like arrows. And false, evil words penetrate into another and hurt for a long time… But words can also heal and be a wonderful medicine (or at least a band-aid on a wound).

 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4: 29

I pray to God that your words and mine will only encourage and heal others!