Currently I am following a course on Blogging with wordpress: Blogging 101. We are challenged to think about how we want to present ourselves, what kind of readers we aim at and what we really want to share in our blog. We can also gain insight in technical aspects and learn more about the blogging world. Yet I would say much of the instructions we get could be described as principles of communication.
In this post I want to take a first glance at verse 1 of 1 Conrinthians chapter 13. Of course St. Paul never was a blogger. Well, he just didn’t have the opportunity!
Why am I saying this? How can I tag this post with Blogging? I feel St. Paul is dealing with communication:
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” (KJV).
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (NIV).
There may be other explanations for the meaning of ‘tongues of men and of angels’. Yet I feel first of all this verse has to do with saying something to one or more other persons.
We might split this into parts:
- We say something. We share some kind of ‘message’. At times what we actually say may not be fully identical with what we intend to say.
- At the receiving end there is a hearer or reader. He or she may not fully get all the message that was shared. Bad acoustics, bad hearing or perhaps eye problems may be the reason.
- Then words that we say may not have exactly the same meaning for all our hearers or readers. As a rule we seek to explain what we hear by what we know or what we have experienced ourselves. We associate information that we receive with mental schemes and ways of thinking that we are used to. Or if you like put it more plainly: Being confronted with new ideas we may be preoccupied by some kind of bias or preconceived ideas.
Now St. Paul suggests there is a possibility that a hearer would just notice some kind of sound, be it pleasant or not. What we say may fail to be significant to a hearer or reader.
Paul proposes love as an important aspect of effective communication. If we are sympathetic with people they may more readily care to listen.
In closing I want to state why love was especially important to Paul’s preaching: He wanted to proclaim the good news of a loving God. We wanted to share how his own life had been changed by Jesus Christ. He wanted believers to grow in their understanding and experiencing God’s love.