Saturday, January 10, 2009

Building Relationships with Good Understanding

This morning I woke early to begin breakfast preparations at an earlier time than usual. That's because my husband was hosting the menfolk of our church for their monthly get-together at 8:00am at our house. I love having the opportunity to open our home for fellowship and hospitality and I'm pretty sure I learned those pleasures from my mom and dad when my sisters and I were just kids.

I remember one time in particular when I was a teenager. We were living in Italy and our family was visiting an Italian family's home for a Christmas feast!
If you've never been to an authentic Italian holiday dinner, 'You've got a hole in your experience,' as one dear old friend used to say. There were so many courses of food and delights that we lost count.

As a return gesture, my parents invited our hosts to our home to celebrate New Years the following week. They planned the menu, went shopping, cleaned the house. Then cleaned some more. Finally, New Years day arrived and we were all anticipating our guests' arrival. However, we knew something was wrong when it was the appointed hour and the doorbell never rang. More time passed and still our guests didn't appear. The disappointment was beginning to set in. Finally, my parents called our friends to inquire if all was OK and asked when we could expect them. It was then that we discovered there was a flaw in our communication efforts. Evidently we had not yet mastered the subtle nuances of the Italian language because, much to our surprise, our friends were home in the same predicament as we were. They thought we were coming to their house to celebrate again with them!

Many times since that day I can think of ways when I've either disappointed others or been disappointed in others. Usually because of a failure to pay attention to details. Unfortunately, this is an unavoidable hazard of being human. But we can work at keeping these disappointments to a minimum and develop good understanding. The Bible sheds some light on how to acquire good understanding...

Proverbs 3:1-4
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck;
write them upon the table of thine heart:
So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.



Mrs. Julie Fink said...

Good words. Happy New Year!

Carla said...

This must be my verse for the day! I just read it some where else also:)

Thank you for this story, so many times its just a misunderstanding, and we humans make it out to be HUGE.

Great post! Have a great weekend:)