Summary: It is worth great effort to communicate better!
Am I Getting Through?
1. A man with a wife and daughter picked up the phone and dialed his home. There was a phone in the kitchen and an extension upstairs. Two female voices answered simultaneously, “I’ve got it,” followed by two clicks as both hung up.
Bits and Pieces, Dec, 1991, p. 12
2. Have you ever felt the way this man felt: I have something to say, but nobody wants to listen? (pastors feel this way every week!)
3. Communication is crucial in the realm of relationship – all kinds of relationships.
4. Some of us have the genes that make us good communicators. We are left-brained and strongly verbal. Others of us are not very verbal.
5. But improving our communication skills is an almost guaranteed way to improve our lives; look what it does for marriage alone:
"In a revealing poll, almost all (97 percent) who rate their communication with their partner as excellent are happily married, compared to only 56 percent who rate their communication as poor." (Drs. Les & Leslie Parrot, Saving You Second Marriage Before It Starts, p. 93)
Main Idea: It is worth great effort to communicate better!
TS-→ Pick one or two areas to work on today, or ask your spouse/friend to choose
I. Why We Communicate Socially
A. RELATIONAL reasons for communication
1. I have given you a list of many Scriptures about communication
2. Some of us are more verbal than others; but all of us need to pass a certain threshold of communicative skills if we are to be happy in life… we have to value communication
• Number one fear: speaking in public
• God does not call most to do that; it is on a personal level that we succeed or fail
• If you view communication as a necessary evil, speak minimally, you have an unscriptural attitude; communication is a privilege, not a nuisance
• Reuben, Gad, Manasseh altar on west side of the Jordan (Josh 22)
• Speaking is part of loving others, guiding others, persuading others, and enjoying life and other people (being social)
• It is also crucial when it comes to relating to your spouse and children
• Some people talk freely and respectfully to others – except spouse/kids
• Your best manners should be saved for those you love
B. Communication is a significant part of being HUMAN
II. Christian Communication is Founded Upon TRUTH
A. Satan is the father of LIES, but Jesus is the TRUTH
1. We cannot become truthful people until we stop denying what liars we are
2. We are not usually conscious of our lies, but they are part of who we are
3. Jesus came for many reasons, one of them to destroy the works of the devil
B. We are often less than TRUTHFUL
1. INDIRECT Communication (hints, using others for “I”); blunt but tactful
2. Use of Questions in Place of ASSEERTIONS
C. We avoid addressing truth through insidious TECHNIQUES
1. Manipulation by subtle GUILT
I would ask you to consider avoiding the word “should” unless moral issue…defense
2. CONTEMPT (including put down HUMOR), verbal ABUSE
Eph. 4:29 reads: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
o contempt: the act of despising : the state of mind of one who despises;
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott say this about contempt: "Contempt will poison a relationship whether a couple has been together four months or forty years. What separates contempt from criticism….’is the intention to insult and psychologically abuse your partner.’" (Saving Your Second Marriage Before
It Starts, p. 133).
o intimidation: to make timid or fearful
o mockery: insulting or contemptuous action or speech
o sarcasm: a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain; it comes from the Greek word meaning "to tear flesh."
3. The SILENT Treatment
4. Attacking and DEFENDING
5. Putting Another Immediately on the DEFENSE
Why do we have to do it this way? or Why can’t we do this?
6. If You Loved Me, You’d KNOW
D. Some Practices That Improve Honesty
1. Being ASSERTIVE
2. Being FORTHCOMING
3. Being HONEST
4. Being PRECISE
III. Being Relaxed and Familiar Does Not Mean We Can Trash KINDNESS
A. Jesus was not always GENTLE, but that was His default
B. TACT is crucial (Prv. 15:2 NASB)
C. Focus on the relationship, not BLAME
D. The biggest communication killer: a threat to SELF-ESTEEM
E. We must also learn to be a good LISTENER
"His thoughts were slow, his words were few, and never formed to glisten; he was a joy to all his friends--you should have heard him listen!" (quoted in Our Daily Bread)