In “The One Where Joey Speaks French,” an episode of the sitcom Friends, Phoebe, who is fluent in French, attempts to teach Joey the language for an audition. She instructs him to repeat after her. When he does, it is very different. After a few tries, she says, “Huh, it’s not quite what I’m saying.” Joey responds, “Really? It sounds exactly the same to me!” (season 10, episode 13, directed by Gary Halvorson, February 19, 2004, NBC). The scene is very relatable and has inspired many memes. So often we say one thing, but the person we are talking to hears something very different. Communication is talking and listening. If we do one without the other, we will not grow in understanding, and communication can break down. How many times has a friend groaned, “Why doesn’t he (or she) understand me?” Being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1:19) helps us grow in understanding.
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