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Devotional Thoughts

 Devotional Thoughts
 The Spiritual Side of Our Website

This part of the site features monthly devotional thoughts by the Association's Chaplain, with the goal of encouraging Signal Corps OCS Graduates to be exceptional in their lives and to live life at a higher level. Our current Chaplain is of the Christian faith, so naturally, his devotionals are fashioned around his Christian beliefs. Your comments and suggestions are welcome and can be offered directly to the Chaplain by eMail at: MaxHolt@ArmySignalOCS.com


by LTC (R) Max Holt, Class 02-67

July 2014

WHAT'S IN A WORD?

I know you thought that what I said was what you thought I said,
but what you thought I said was not what I meant.

LTC (R) Max Holt - TodayLTC (R) Max HoltWe live in a very confusing world. We seem to be most confused by the details of our relationships with others. We humans are most challenged in our interpersonal communications. The main problem is the different meaning we place on the words we use. As a pilot I like the illustration of the depressed copilot. The pilot had been trying to cheer him up prior to takeoff without success. During the takeoff roll he looked over at the copilot and said, "Come on, cheer up!" Amid the noise of the engines the copilot thought he said, "Gear up," so he lifted the switch to the UP position. They both watched helplessly as the airplane settled on its belly in the middle of the runway!

Your miscommunications may not cause an airplane wreck but I have seen relationships and friendships wrecked by misunderstandings. If it weren't for all those confusing words we'd all communicate better! You know those words; love, commitment, truth, etc. Our human traits make it even more difficult. Many experts believe that only 7% of effective communication happens through hearing. Over 70% comes from visual signals such as body language, surroundings, etc. Yet our society continues to find more ways to communicate without personal contact. The written word has been around forever. We now have Email, Texting, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media that I don’t understand.            

When I was a minister I was once on a lay-over at the Kansas City Airport. I remember attaching a keyboard to my smart phone and getting some work done, answering emails, etc. I know, I know, I was part of the problem too! But, while I was there a man named Michael asked to share my table. He asked what I do for a living. When I talked about Single Adult Ministry at my church I saw his countenance change and his eyes sadden as he shared about his recent divorce and asked for my advice. He and his wife were both Christians but still made poor choices en route to marital failure. They had stopped communicating and couldn't understand each other. SEEING him and HEARING him helped me to better understand and recommend an appropriate action. In this case social media would have been inadequate to help Michael.    

Many people misunderstood Jesus. Even the disciples didn't always 'get it.' In Matthew 13 Jesus told the parable of the sower. The disciples got him aside, and asked for an explanation. In verse 9 he had said, "Those who have ears, let them hear." Most everybody has ears! But, I think he meant, "Those who are willing to shut out the world and concentrate on what is important, they will be able to hear the truth." He went on to say in verse 16 that they were blessed because they wanted to see and hear the truth he was sharing.  

 Common Sense Application

1. Remember, personal contact is always the best way to communicate. When the conversation gets serious, stay away from email and social media. Instead, meet with the person!

2. When communicating in person be sure to look the other person in the eye and work hard at actively listening. God gave us two ears but only one mouth; there must be a lesson there!

3. Be clear and honest in your own communication with others, especially in your communication with God. He will always listen and understand.   



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