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Summary: Life or death, the Kingdom or the world, what comes out of your mouth? If you speak it out you will eat its fruit. Some thoughts on God's design for us to communicate effectively because; good communication is essential to good living!

Speaking with tongues! Proverbs 18:21

Lofty’s lovely voice (You tube)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qYVid7BAz8

Poor old Lofty, how many of us have finished being part of a conversation walking away, feeling less than when we entered into it? (Show of hands) This is a very common thing.

What I am talking about today is effective communication. The reason being that, I have talked lately with many people who have been hurt because of poor communication, one of the most effective ways to build this part of the church / of God’s kingdom is to communicate the love of God, the love we have for him and one another effectively.

On the other hand one of the best ways for the enemy to ensure that there is no Kingdom growth is for communication to be stilted, ineffective, misunderstood, unloving or painful.

The book of Proverbs has quite a number of references to the tongue. A small observation - The tongue has a huge effect on those who are using it and those who are hearing the results of its waggling.

This from Proverbs 18:21: “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Where I am going today? Because of the subject matter, I am going to tell you right from the start where this sermon is heading and that is that, Good communication is essential to good living (SBI).

Here are a couple of examples: These are some famous last words -

Rodgers, James W. ( -1960) [American criminal] was asked for his final request before he faced the firing squad, his reply was "Why yes, a bulletproof vest!" Request denied!

Wilde, Oscar (1854-1900) "Either this wallpaper goes, or I do!" It appeared the wall paper stayed.

Maybe in both instances they just hadn’t let the people around them know they were really serious.

All joking aside, Good communication is essential to good living (SBI). It’s essential to our ability to live in community and to live as effectively as we can. As Christians good communication is essential to the advancement and witness of our faith and the growth of God’s Kingdom here on Earth.

1) The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Here are some interesting comments about the power of words:

This from Dr Susan L. Smalley, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA who specializes in the genetics of psychiatric disorders.

She said this about words,

"Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me." I remember saying those words when young to try and convince myself of its truth in the face of painful words thrown my way. Unfortunately, it is far from true. Verbal insults, verbal abuse, and the power of words to affect your emotions and actions are well demonstrated in science. For example, scientists have found that just hearing sentences about elderly people led research subjects to walk more slowly. In other research, individuals read words of 'loving kindness' showed increases in self-compassion, improved mood, and reduced anxiety…

I once read that a word is like a living organism, capable of growing, changing, spreading, and influencing the world in many ways, directly and indirectly through others. I never thought about a word being 'alive' but then I thought of words spoken 3,000 years ago, written down and passed through many generations, and they seem quite alive when read or spoken today, having lived 3,000 years. As I ponder the power of the word to incite and divide, to calm and connect, or to create and effect change, I am ever more cautious in what I say and how I listen to the words around me.

Dr Smalley’s last sentence could be a good lesson for all of us, what was it she said? (repeat the sentence).

As Christians we should be fully aware of the power of ‘The Living Word”, words that have brought life for thousands of years.

This from Morgan Freeman and Amnesty International; (You Tube). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_tCtvmAm4M

As the clip said, words are powerful and they can do anything. Well there’s an opportunity to effect life change with your words by writing a letter.

Another couple of quotes about words:

“A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword.”

Robert Burton "The Anatomy of Melancholy

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

Mother Teresa

So there you go, words are powerful!

2) What was God’s original design for communication?

I think the answer to this is, speech and the formulation of speech, all of those cues to what is being said that go with speaking. The most distant we were designed to communicate on a personal level was within line of sight and sound, yelling distance!

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