Summary: How God’s communication skills help us live better, happier lives.
[Part 1 of 5 in the series, "THE SEARCH, Solomon’s Secrets to a Happy & Successful Life"]
2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. 3 Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. 4 Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Proverbs 2:2-4 (NLT)
Circle the phrases in that passage from God’s Word that tell us to do: “tune our ears,” “concentrate,” “cry out,” and “ask,” for wisdom and understanding, to “search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.”
Our two youngest offspring and their spouses were visiting Deb and me last weekend for Memorial Day and we all went together to enjoy the latest Indiana Jones movie. The theme that ties all of the movies in this series together is THE SEARCH for some valuable yet well-hidden and dangerous-to-acquire treasure.
Watch the two-minute movie trailer and see what I’m talking about…sorry but we don’t have any popcorn.
I think that one of the many reasons these movies have resonated so well with the viewing public is the sense of adventure they portray on the way to finding great treasure. Solomon says that our search for God’s wisdom and understanding should be like that - like someone seeking for silver and hidden treasure! When you think about it can be a very exciting pursuit!
We’re beginning a new series today called "THE SEARCH, Solomon’s Secrets to a Happy & Successful Life." Solomon was a very successful king of ancient Israel, and when he lived by God’s wisdom he was happy, so we’ll be excavating wisdom and understanding from the book of Proverbs written by Solomon. If we live by this wisdom and understanding our chances for living a happy and successful life will increase exponentially. That’s the great treasure we’ll find – happiness and fulfillment and success in life!
The first secret deals with communication. Good communication skills can drastically improve our chances of success and happiness in life and ineffective communication is often our number one problem in life.
Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time or not saying anything at all tremendously affect our relationships at home, at church, at school, at work, and even at play. Every aspect of our communication, our words, our tone of voice, our gestures and facial expressions, our spirit, our timing, and all the nonverbal communication habits we utilize, affect whether or not we succeed in achieving what it is we believe God wants us to attain.
EXAMPLES OF THE VITAL ROLE COMMUNICATION PLAYS IN OUR HAPPINESS & SUCCESS:
* Our communication can extinguish anger or escalate it.
"A gentle answer will calm a person’s anger, but an unkind answer will cause more anger." Proverbs 15:1 (NCV)
This proverb points us in the direction of making a positive choice in our communication. Every time we’re angry, or someone is angry with us, we have a choice whether or not we’re going to be gentle or unkind. Circle those two words, “gentle” and “unkind.” The choices we make in great measure determine the outcome of the conversations we have. And the outcome of our conversations determines the outcome of our relationships.
You must remember that we are not responsible to God for the other person’s response but we are responsible for ours. If we practice gentleness rather than unkindness people will begin to want to communicate with you more openly. If we practice unkindness we’ll be painting ourselves into a corner and our own happiness and success will wane.
* Our communication can wound others or heal them.
"Careless words stab like a sword, but wise words bring healing." Proverbs 12:18 (NCV)
This is another role communication plays in our happiness and success. We can wound or heal people by our words. That’s the formidable power of verbal communication. What a word picture that word is – healing!
I told you recently of getting poison ivy for only the third time in my life. It felt so good when it finally healed up. No more itching! Isn’t healing a great thing? When you get over some sickness isn’t it great to feel good again – to be “healed?”
Sometimes life hurts, and one of God’s intended uses for our words is to bring healing to others when they’re hurting!
"As a tree gives fruit, healing words give life…" Proverbs 15:4a (NCV)
Healing words are a vital God-given tool for happiness and success.
Another outstanding example of the role communication plays in our happiness and success is how…
* Our communication can mean life or death.
"What you say can mean life or death. Those who speak with care will be rewarded." Proverbs 18:21 (NCV)
The kids use to sing a song, “Oh be careful little mouth what you say…” How we need to heed that warning because our communication can mean life or death!