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Summary: Every day we ought to be growing more like Christ. And when we look at the life of Christ we see that He always spoke the plain truth, He always loved people. If we are to be about the business of building up the Church then we must be about the busines

“The Brick Method” Proverbs 18:21

Introduction

When I was a young Marine Sergeant, stationed in Yuma Arizona, I worked for a Warrant Officer named, Chris Cox. Now, Warrant officer Cox stood about 6ft 4 inches and weighed just shy of three hundred pounds of solid muscle.

At the time I had just started back to college and I was in my first year of undergraduate course work. I was taking an introductory business class as part of my general education requirements… One day I was telling Warrant Officer Cox about what I had been learning in my college classes…

I was telling him about the communication cycles I had been learning about. I was telling him about what causes communication to break down in the workplace and different strategies to counteract the breakdown of communication and how to foster a positive atmosphere of communication.

I told him that I wanted to hold some training on communication for the troops the next training day that we had scheduled. He pretended as though he was interested and said that would be a good idea… and after a while of my excited ramblings he said, “I took a class like once… have you ever heard about the brick method?”

I very seriously said that I had not and then asked, “What is the brick method?” To which he replied… “It’s simple, when somebody doesn’t listen to what I tell hem… I hit them upside the head with a brick!”

Transition

Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (ESV) This morning I want to talk to you about communication. I’m going to share the ways in which we often use the brick method in our own lives and here in the church… and I’m gong to offer some biblical alternatives to the brick method.

We are going to explore some specific ways that the brick method rears its ugly head and talk about some practical ways to avoid having the brick method… in all of its expressions… influence our communication.

My hope and prayer is that we will all leave here this morning a little more conscious of the power and the importance of our words… This morning I’m going to share with you three scriptural principals vital to healthy communication.

1. Be Candid

A happy couple had always raised cucumbers and made sweet pickles together. The husband just loved to watch things grow. Thus he spent his winters studying the seed catalogues to get the best possible cucumbers. The whole family enjoyed preparing the soil, planting and caring for the plants.

He would often go out and just enjoy the way they grew. His wife loved to make sweet pickles. She studied the best recipes and the best methods of preparing and preserving them. They were such a happy family, and all their visitors went home with a jar of their famous pickles.

The church always had a good supply of their pickles as well. People marveled at this family that had found a project to do together. Finally, the man died. The next spring all the children returned home. They said to their mother, “We know how much you love making pickles, so we are going to prepare the garden and plant them for you.”

The mother smiled and said, “Thanks a lot children, but you don’t have to do any planting for I really don’t enjoy pickle making. I only did that because your father loved to grow the cucumbers so much.” The children were all amazed, but the youngest son was upset, because the father had pulled him aside not too long before and shared with him that he really didn’t like growing cucumbers, but only did it to please the mother!

Is this a happy or a sad story? I’m not sure. In many ways it is happy. They were happy doing for each other. People enjoyed being with them. But why is it also sad? Primarily, because they were not able to share their changing needs and joys with each other. Instead of growing, they stagnated in the performance of what they thought were their duties to each other.

Proverbs 12:17, “Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit. (ESV) I have often said that I would rather have a hard truth than an easy lie. Just because we ignore the truth doesn’t make it go away... and pretending for the sake of another’s perceived feelings can be damaging.

Often, as in this story, the lack of candid honesty… even though it was well intentioned… is actually hurtful. For years this couple pretended to enjoy something for the sake of what they thought the other person liked, when in fact, neither of them liked what they were doing.

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