One Step Behind

"That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak" (Colossians 4:4).

My youngest son was in trouble, and I didn't know how to help him. Daily, he tried to communicate with his older brother and sisters in a group setting during our homeschooling, but he always seemed to be going in different directions in his conversation. Because he processed information more slowly, his contributions to the discussion seemed disjointed and off topic. Frustrated, he began to withdraw and keep his thoughts to himself.

I knew I had to do something to help him with his communication skills, but I didn't know what. As I prayed and asked the Lord for guidance, He gave me the perfect visual to help my young son. Using a basketball, I simultaneously passed the ball and said, "OK, we are going to practice a speaking skill today that will help you communicate better. As you pass this ball back to me, you have to say something back in response to what I've just said."

"OK, Mom, I think I get it," he said as he passed the ball back. For the next ten minutes, we talked and communicated easily as he learned to pass the conversational ball back and forth. Next, I told him that if he was going to change direction and introduce a new topic, he needed to clearly indicate that before he passed the ball; otherwise, I would drop it. At that point, he understood the difficulty other people were having in following his conversation. After practicing this exercise several times, my son finally gained the understanding and confidence he needed to effectively communicate.

As Christians, we can also drop the ball when telling others about Christ. How many times have you been frustrated in not knowing how to explain salvation to others? Although the Holy Spirit does the leading, you also need to be prepared with memorized Scriptures and a clear presentation of the Gospel. If you're tired of seeing that confused look on people's faces as you attempt to tell them about Christ, ask a pastor for guidance or read a Christian book on witnessing. Acquiring the necessary skills to be an effective witness for the Lord just takes a little practice! "That therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak" (Ephesians 6:20b).

Lord, I know I've failed so many times in sharing who You are with others. Lead me to the help I need to clearly communicate the message of Your love and forgiveness. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Comments(8 comments)

RACHELLE M 02/20/2009 06:07:03

Just what I needed today! thanks

SCOTT AMY A 02/20/2009 08:12:23

Great words.

Take care,


ELIZABETH J 02/20/2010 01:58:46

WOW!!! I have truly been blessed by this article. I am having trouble with both my youngest daughter, and my oldest son. Yesterday was actually very trying for my patience (I failed). I realize that my aproach has been wrong and somtimes just a new creative way can help break the barrier of silence. Thank you so much!

BEN P 02/20/2010 20:53:36

fastatic article. we have the same problem with our secon son. i would like to hearit a bit more pesific. thank you. ben

THAIS C 02/23/2010 07:55:52

Thank you for sharing this, I love how God gives us the wisdom to use simple every day things to solve what seem to be insurmountable issues. What a blessing you are. The next time this comes up in our home I will use this information, keep sharing.

ALLISON S 02/20/2011 08:55:33

LOVE this article. Every daily focus seems to be just what I need!!

KATHY S 02/20/2012 07:52:37

Great analogy !


STACEY HOLLAND 02/20/2013 11:39:45

Thanks for the devotional. I've only been homeschooling my sixth grader for 4 months. I appreciate your devotionals to start my day. I have a Autism Spectrum child. He is high functioning, but needs help with his conversational skills. There is an app created by Mobil Education Store for the iPad or iPhone that is great. It was created by Speech Language Pathologists. They have a "conversation builder" for young kids and a seperate one for teens. They also have an app for helping with receptive and expressive language delays. They do cost, but I have found it to be worth the money.

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