“What does a cannibal call a phone book?” I asked my translator in Cambodia & he gave me a quizzical look. “I understand phone book, but what is a cannibal?” I quickly explained & followed with the punch line. “A menu!” I was hopeful that he would understand my all time favorite joke. There was a pause & then I could see that he understood, but instead of a fun grin, he looked at me with deep concern, like there was something severely wrong with me to think that such a thing would be even remotely funny.
Rule #1 with using a translator: no jokes because they don’t translate.
But here’s another interesting thing to consider, much of what is said to us gets processed through our mental filters. Whether we realize it or not, our thoughts tell us what we hear rather than us fully understanding what is actually said. For example, if you struggle with insecurity then many compliments you receive can often be ignored or dismissed because of that insecurity filter.
All of this is to say that we should take a step back & ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us what filters may exist in our thinking that could be obscuring what we hear 🙂