—By Maria!20/2/84DO 1796
1. WHEN YOU'RE TALKING TO PEOPLE & YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT THEY'RE TRYING TO TELL YOU or what they're trying to say, or what they are feeling, you should always be sure to ask them. It sounds very simple but you'd be surprised how many people don't because they're afraid to ask! It's a problem with pride, because they think they're supposed to understand & they don't, & they're afraid to admit it or they're afraid they'll embarrass the person by asking. But it really is a help to ask people if you don't exactly understand what they mean or what they feel, because people aren't always so quick to open up & give their honest feelings.
2. I LEARNED A LESSON ALONG THAT LINE WHEN I WAS IN MY FIRST YEAR OF COLLEGE. I was always very shy & never communicated too deeply with people, but when I got to college I started having a little more social contact with people my own age than I had in high school. I started going out with this one boy who was working toward his Ph.D., his name was Wayne Bellis & we went to the same church. He was a real sweet guy & we started going together. He had a nice maroon car & we went places & had good times, but at that time it never dawned on me that we didn't have any good communication together.
3. HE WAS A CHRISTIAN & FAIRLY STABLE, BUT HE WAS THE SILENT TYPE & very into himself & was shy & very untalkative. We were going to the same church, an Evangelical Church, the Nazarene Church, & he loved the Lord. We went places together & we had a lot of fun but we never had any deep conversations & I never talked to him about anything other than the time of day or what we were doing or where we were going or about our Sunday School class or the people in it, or college, we never talked about matters of the heart at all. I liked him very much & I think he liked me a lot, but you see I have to say I think he was quite fond of me as I wasn't really sure because we never really communicated. (I'm already jealous, ha!—D.)
4. I DIDN'T REALISE THAT THERE WAS A PROBLEM UNTIL FINALLY I WAS GETTING A LITTLE SERIOUS ABOUT HIM. He had gotten to the Ph.D. stage of his studies without getting married or getting too involved & I think he was really shy & was really scared of getting too serious, so he finally just sort of began to cool things off & it broke my little heart a little bit. I started thinking & praying about what went wrong & it finally dawned on me that I didn't really know what he thought & he didn't know what I thought. It occurred to me that we hadn't had any kind of deep communication at all. (Glad they didn't, ha!—She mighta married him!)
5. AFTERWARDS I THOUGHT, "WHY DIDN'T I ASK HIM? Why didn't we talk about the things we felt & thought?" It would've been so simple & then I would've known. If we'd just honestly talked‚ it would've prevented the whole problem of me not understanding & not knowing how he felt. He was a very quite type of person & he hardly ever talked, but he could have if I would have helped him by priming the pump.
6. THAT WHOLE THING SORT OF BROKE MY HEART & I wondered what in the world was wrong‚ but then the Lord started showing me that with things the way they were, I wouldn't have wanted to prolong the relationship anyway, especially when I didn't know anything about him. It's ridiculous to be that close to somebody & still not know a thing about them or what they think or anything. I didn't know what he was thinking, but with a little bit of conversation & with a little bit of trying to open up to each other we really could have taken care of the problem, or at least we could have known what was going on with each other. (Amen.)
7. EVEN IF THE OTHER PERSON IS CLOSED & DOESN'T TALK OR IS VERY WITHDRAWN, you can probe & ask questions & help that person to come out of himself & to find out what is going on & help him to talk. Most people that are that way feel very bound, they don't want to be that way but they just don't know how to communicate, they can't do it themselves, they need help. They have a very difficult time baring their heart & exposing their feelings, so you've got to help them by asking questions & being specific about things, by asking specific questions & kind of probing & saying, "Well, what do you mean by that? Could you explain that to me?" And if he were to say, "Well, I'd like to but I don't want to get involved," you could ask something like, "Well, why don't you want to get involved?"
8. WITH MOST PEOPLE, IF YOU REALLY PROBE & REALLY QUESTION & really press them, then usually they'll eventually come out & be more specific because they want to, but they just need help. People usually want to pour out‚ they usually want to talk! Most people who are quiet & withdrawn know they need to be freer & they usually want to communicate with other people, they don't really want to stay behind their walls, but they need somebody to be understanding & to pull it out of them. If you're interested in people & you love them, then you need to learn how to get them to come out of themselves & try to respond & to communicate. Communication is pretty important! It is what we do all the time, it's our job!
9. I LEARNED A GOOD LESSON BACK THEN, I LEARNED TO ASK‚ & I learned the importance of honest, open, humble communication. I learned that we need to really ask when we don't understand things & to try to get the other person to be honest & to tell you what he feels & thinks & that I need to be honest about my feelings as well.
10. IT'S SO EASY TO MISUNDERSTAND THINGS, so you really have to ask the Lord to help you not to be too proud to ask & to help you to be honest with each other, because there are so many things which people say that you don't understand or you might misinterpret. Of course, it's not important to understand every little single tiny thing that someone shares with you, but it is important to understand the major things. When you talk with people it's good to make sure that you know what they are talking about, because a lot of times your interpretation of something they say will be different than theirs, so it is best to ask.
11. SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST NATURALLY VERY OPEN & tell you what they want & what they need & they talk a blue streak & you know everything about them, but other people are more withdrawn & don't expect that you'd want to listen to all their problems & worries & things. They'll keep things in & suffer through the whole trial without asking for help or prayer. Well, you can admire them for that, for being able to take it & suffer the whole time, but wouldn't it be better if they would just honestly confess that they need help & prayer? Even Dad asks me to have people pray for him, because he knows the battle is so great & the Enemy is angry‚ he knows that he needs the prayer & he needs all of us to pray because there is power in everyone's prayers. (AMEN! GBY!—Thanks! ILY!)
12. SUFFERING IN SILENCE JUST MAKES EVERYBODY MISERABLE because they know you're suffering & that something is wrong & then they're worried about you, they don't know if you're upset or angry at them or sick or what. I'm more for spilling it all out because it prevents a lot of misunderstandings & it gets you some prayer‚ at least, & some sympathy—everything you like to have when you're going through a trial.
13. IT SEEMS TO BE A BIG UNSPOKEN FAMILY RULE THAT YOU NEVER SHOULD TALK MUCH ABOUT A TRIAL THAT YOU'RE HAVING UNTIL YOU HAVE THE VICTORY. Well, Dad did say that, but he doesn't mean that you can't ask for counsel or prayer about your problem, you're just not to spread your doubts & murmurs. (Amen!) I think some of the leadership promoted this idea to prevent having to deal with too many people's problems. Instead they just said, "Listen, don't talk about it, just tell us when you get the victory!" My goodness, I would rather have someone writing me poor sad—sack notes every day so I'd know what they're thinking about & what they're feeling than to have them just hold it inside! I'd rather have people tell me their problems constantly, at least I know what they're doing & where they're at. It's much better if they tell me rather than to just hold it in & not say anything & murmur in their heart & be bitter & discontented about something.
14. WHEN YOU'RE HAVING THE TRIAL YOU SHOULDN'T BE COMPLAINING ABOUT IT‚ but there's nothing wrong with going to somebody for help & asking them for counsel & prayer. It really helps lots of times to talk about your problem or trial even if the person you are talking to doesn't have any solution.—Just like some people write me & say‚ "Oh, it just helped to talk about it & to get it straight in my mind." Sometimes they even get something from the Lord while they're writing or talking about it. I would definitely say when you're having a trial or a problem you should find somebody to talk to & pray with, if at all possible. Of course, you should preferably find someone that is spiritually strong, because you don't want to stumble them or bring them down or discourage them in any way. You can at least ask for prayer & that does a lot of good! "One can chase a thousand & two can put ten thousand to flight!" (Deut.32:30) (Amen!)
15. I REALLY THINK WE NEED TO LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT COMMUNICATING MORE & BEING MORE HONEST WITH ONE ANOTHER & being more open about ourselves. There would be far fewer misunderstandings if people would just honestly & openly communicate with one another. It may be a little difficult at the beginning, but if you work at it, it becomes much easier. The Lord always seems to bless honesty & good communication, & maybe He wants to bless you for it as well. Why don't you try & see? (Amen?—GBH, she practices what she preaches!—She's honest, open & always digs till she gets to the root of a problem!—And she always has the victory!—Wish I could always be as sweet & patient & loving & cheerful & encouraging, uplifting & faithful & diligent as she! She's what keeps me going!—And you & the Lord, of course! I wish we could all be more like her!—In Jesus' name, amen!)