Friday, March 12, 2010

Communication Skills don’t Cut through Self-Delusion

This was my response to someone who placed a lot of hope in communication skills to heal relationships:

Welcome back! I’m not a big believer in communication skills. I know that for me the problems had been much deeper. Lacking the assurance of Christ’s love, forgiveness and righteousness, I lived my life believing in myself and my earned sense of self. However, to believe in myself required that I deny and suppress the counter-self-righteous evidence, evidences that disqualified my belief in self -- my selfishness, self-centeredness, and need to always promote myself and to be right.

It also required me to feed myself a lot of nonsense self-affirmations that tended to alienate me from both life and viable relationships. Relationship depends upon truth, the only basis for sharing a common vision and communication. It’s hard to relate to someone who believes that they are the savior of the world or is in deep denial about themselves. It requires that we enter into the fantasy world of another. After a while, that gets old and irksome. Instead, we long for authenticity.

Consequently, whenever my wife and I got into an argument – and that happened often – I was convinced that I was right and she was wrong, and she was convinced of the opposite. As a result, we could never reconcile our differences, but had to bury them in order to move on. But we didn’t really move on. Our differences just festered, and communication skills couldn’t even begin to touch them. We humans are just highly resistant to the truth, especially the truth about ourselves!

However, it has only been in following Christ – not in my five highly recommended psychologists – that I found liberation (John 8:31-32). Knowing His love and gift of righteousness allowed me to slowly lay down the self-delusions that had taken me captive. Consequently, I can now laugh at myself and admit that I am wrong, because it’s no longer about me, but Him. He loves me and will never leave me.

Also, I am no longer needy of others opinions of me. Of course, they can hurt me, but I just take my pains to God, knowing that He’ll lift me back up. And He does!!

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