Communication Barriers

Thursday, Dec. 1                       

Language is the best tool in communicating with one another.  But spoken language has a lot of problems.  A person asks me how I’m feeling.  What does he mean?   I have feelings of emotions–disgust, anxiety, calm, panic, ecstasy, etc.  And I have feelings of pain.  That’s physical, and has a lot of nuances—sharp pain, consistent pain, maybe a back ache, or a migraine headache.   On top of all that, we mess up our own language.  I might be asked if I’m feeling well.  That has to do with my physical body.  If I’m asked if I’m feeling good, that’s quite different.  Good is the opposite of evil.  But in context, the asker might be wondering about my spiritual condition, not my health.  I have to decide what he’s asking before answering him.  And  languages are always changing.  I hardly understand any of the teen jargon these days.  And it might have a nasal intonation and might be spewed out so fast that I wouldn’t understand it even if the words were in my vocabulary.  When in the U.S. southeast, I have trouble understanding some of that, too.  It’s partly pronunciation and partly vocabulary.  And it’s all English.  And the  tower of Babel didn’t help in this regard, either.  If I were to go to Germany, communication would be nearly impossible for me except that many Germans speak English, albeit British English—with a German accent.  I communicate all this to you to say that God communicating with man has its problems.  God is not limited by His understanding; He’s limited by ours.  He’s in a very different domain.  It would be like trying to teach Calculus to a baby.  But there is a silver lining.  God made us in His image which is a huge advantage.  Secondly, He is omniscient and therefore quite capable of  communicating anything He likes.  So we have the Bible, God’s revelation to man.  It can’t or doesn’t express a lot of what there is to know about God and His domain.  And even though it’s kindergarten stuff in God’s domain, we struggle to understand it.  I just can’t get my mind around the idea of infinity.  Nor can I really grasp the truth that something doesn’t have a beginning.  I guess that’s why we will not be bored with eternity.

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