Ancient Wisdom for Communication

May 21, 2005 Proverbs 18:

1.  We’re continuing our new series that dove tails with the Worship Service theme of Embracing the Adventure of a Growing Family
2.  We’ve titled this new series: Complete Makeovers: Case Studies of Embracing the Adventure of a Godly Family – the plan of attack is something like this:
1)  To review (or prepare ourselves – depending on which ABF you attend) the worship service message
2)  To read a Case Study that communicates those biblical concepts (positively or negatively)
3)  Work through specific applications of those truths to that specific life-situation – [we can do this in small groups or as a class – probably a little of both]
4)  Bring other passages of scripture (truth about God, man, etc.) that will further help us to be ‘doers of the Word and not hearers only’
3.  Today: The Complete Makeover deals with Ancient Wisdom on Communication
- Let’s do a bit of REVIEW and/or PREPARATION:
- Because God made us in His image and likeness (Gen. 1), we are created with the ability to communicate
- that’s true because God is a communicative being – e.g. the Trinity – a perfect relationship!
- but the curse of sin messed that us (Gen. 3) and now man has a real hard time communicating
Example:  Adam ran to bushes when he sinned (didn’t want to communicate) – when he did, he made excuses and blamed God and his wife for what happened
- not much has changed – but neither has the solutions
[READ Proverbs 18]


I.  Work Hard to Develop the Skill of Listening.


A.  Instead of separating yourself from the counsel of others
- God often brings people into your life that can help you to grow and change – if you’ll learn to listen

B.  Learn to delight in understanding the other person’s position.
- this is what James 1:19 refers to – being swift to hear, slow to speak
- considering the possibility that the other person might be right
C.  Refusal to do so reveals a heart of pride.
- most people delight in revealing their own mind – ‘give him a piece of my mind’
- sometimes you want to say to that person:  I’d recommend you NOT do that – you don’t have much to spare! 
D. Answering before listening is foolish and shameful – Proverbs 18:13
- Working Hard to Develop the Skill of Listening . . .
E. Results in wisdom – Proverbs 18:4


II.  Avoid Words that Bring Strife.


A.  Don’t be the person who frequently starts fights.
- this is the kind of person who ‘stirs up strife’ – always looking for an argument
B.  Otherwise the habit will ruin you – Prov. 18:2


III.  Refuse to be Involved in Gossip.


A. Listening to such words is very appealing.
Q: Why does listening to gossip appeal to our flesh so much?
- usually gossip has to do with the fault or sins of OTHERS!
- It’s rooted in self-righteousness!
B.  Remember, you become what you listen to!
- the statement: G.I.G.O. = garbage in – garbage out  -- is true in a lot of ways
Point: You want to learn to listen – but you also want to make sure you’re listening to the right things
[Read Case Study #2 and Discuss]



Case Study #2: Communication

Jack and Tim are brothers.  They are only two years apart in age.  Jack being the older brother.  The young men (both are in their early 20’s) usually get along very well, but lately there have been some really bad communication problems.  Both men are very strong leaders, and each of them wants to grow to be more pleasing to the Lord.  However, the number of arguments and fusses are on the rise – and sometimes they get really ugly.  Jack calls his brother names like saying, “You idiot” or “You’re just a stupid jerk.”   People are starting to notice that something is wrong between the two of them – their facial expressions, the way they interact, and what they DON’T say and/or DO is just as obvious.  Not all of their friends are believers.

Jack has the tendency to get angry and smart off to Tim.  When he doesn’t get his way, he gets angry and lets the bitterness set in. This of course affects his relationship with his brother.  They don’t enjoy working side by side as they usually do, or the ‘distance wall’ get puts up, and there is an ‘elephant in the room’ – but each brother refuses to deal with the problem. 

While Jack gets angry and bitter and blows up – Tim gets angry and bitter and clams up.  So the result is that problems don’t get solved quickly or biblically.  The issues drag on for days, and their relationship is not growing, and it’s also beginning to carry over into their relationship to other people.  Tim has a tendency to gossip to his friends about his brother. Jack was not happy when he was approached by one of Tim’s friend which said to him, “Hey, why don’t you back off and give your younger brother a little credit!”  Jack told him to shut up and to mind his own business.  The problem is, Tim’s friend is right.  Even Jack’s parents have cautioned him about the heart issues that drive his reactions to Tim .  . . and many times, other people as well.  Jack hates to admit that Tim is right about anything.  When Tim tries to correct Jack about something, the fire starts.  Tim isn’t always the most loving when he talks to Jack, but he is often right about what he is saying.

Q: What keeps a person from developing the heart of a learner or listener?
[pride – stubbornness – fear of man (afraid of what a person might say/think about me)]
Q: What ‘idols’ might a person have in his/her heart when a person refuses to listen to the counsel of others?
[control – I have to be right – I don’t deserve to be treated like this, or I deserve to be treated better than this person is treating me]
Q: What impact does being a divisive person have on friendships?
- Ruins it – can’t keep friends long – he/she is too busy offending them all the time!
Q:  What are the evangelistic implications to Tim and Jack’s problems?
- they are not going to be the salt & light to their unsaved friends
Note: Think about the implications of failing to give glory to Christ – the unsaved friend are not given the right opinion of Jesus as the PRINCE OF PEACE!
Q: Why does listening to gossip appeal to our flesh so much?
- pride – gossips usually deals with the weaknesses and/or sins of OTHERS!
Q:  What is the opposite of this kind of person?
- a person who listens and learns
Q: In what ways do Jack and Tim need to grow? How do they change and grow?
- use Ephesians 4:15 – 32  -- 4 Rules of Communication & the ‘put off’ ‘put on’ process
Put Off Put On
Thinking:
I have to be right
God can’t use this person to help me

Actions:
Stop arguing
Harsh words
Letting problems drag on  Replace with:
I need to learn and grow
God wants to use this person to help me grow

Replace with:
Learn to communicate biblicaly
Be kind and gracious
Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath


Q: What other passage would you bring into the picture to help these men grow/change?
James 1:19
Matthew 12:34-38
Other proverbs on the tongue
Q: If these brothers don’t change and grow, what impact will this have on their effectiveness in ministry in the local church?
- their divisiveness will show up in other places
- the testimony of the church is hurt
Q:  Why does Satan want to use ‘communication problems’ as a means to accomplish his goals and desires?
- started in the garden – He’s a master deceiver – part of the essence of his temptation of Eve was ‘communication’
- It’s been going on for 6,000 years!


Embracing the Adventure of a Growing Family
Ancient Wisdom for Communication

1)  To review (or prepare ourselves – depending on which ABF you attend) the worship service message
2)  To read a Case Study that communicates those biblical concepts (positively or negatively)
3)  Work through specific applications of those truths to that specific life-situation
4)  Bring other passages of scripture (truth about God, man, etc.) that will further help us to be ‘doers of the Word and not hearers only’

I.  Work Hard to Develop the Skill of Listening.
A.  Instead of ____________ yourself from the counsel of others

B.  Learn to __________ in understanding the other person’s position.

C.  Refusal to do so reveals a heart of __________.

D. Answering before listening is ____________ and ______________ – Proverbs 18:13

E. Results in wisdom – Proverbs 18:4

II.  Avoid Words that Bring Strife.

A.  Don’t be the person who frequently __________ ___________.

B.  Otherwise the habit will __________ you – Prov. 18:2

III.  Refuse to be Involved in ____________.

A. Listening to such words is very ______________.

B.  Remember, you become what you listen to!
*  You want to learn to listen – but you also want to make sure you’re listening to the right things


Case Study #2: Communication

Jack and Tim are brothers.  They are only two years apart in age.  Jack being the older brother.  The young men (both are in their early 20’s) usually get along very well, but lately there have been some really bad communication problems.  Both men are very strong leaders, and each of them wants to grow to be more pleasing to the Lord.  However, the number of arguments and fusses are on the rise – and sometimes they get really ugly.  Jack calls his brother names like saying, “You idiot” or “You’re just a stupid jerk.”   People are starting to notice that something is wrong between the two of them – their facial expressions, the way they interact, and what they DON’T say and/or DO is just as obvious.  Not all of their friends are believers.

Jack has the tendency to get angry and smart off to Tim.  When he doesn’t get his way, he gets angry and lets the bitterness set in. This of course affects his relationship with his brother.  They don’t enjoy working side by side as they usually do, or the ‘distance wall’ get puts up, and there is an ‘elephant in the room’ – but each brother refuses to deal with the problem. 

While Jack gets angry and bitter and blows up – Tim gets angry and bitter and clams up.  So the result is that problems don’t get solved quickly or biblically.  The issues drag on for days, and their relationship is not growing, and it’s also beginning to carry over into their relationship to other people.  Tim has a tendency to gossip to his friends about his brother. Jack was not happy when he was approached by one of Tim’s friend which said to him, “Hey, why don’t you back off and give your younger brother a little credit!”  Jack told him to shut up and to mind his own business.  The problem is, Tim’s friend is right.  Even Jack’s parents have cautioned him about the heart issues that drive his reactions to Tim .  . . and many times, other people as well.  Jack hates to admit that Tim is right about anything.  When Tim tries to correct Jack about something, the fire starts.  Tim isn’t always the most loving when he talks to Jack, but he is often right about what he is saying.

Q: What keeps a person from developing the heart of a learner or listener?


Q: What ‘idols’ might a person have in his/her heart when a person refuses to listen to the counsel of others?


Q: What impact does being a divisive person have on friendships?


Q:  What are the evangelistic implications to Tim and Jack’s problems?


Q: Why does listening to gossip appeal to our flesh so much?


Q:  What is the opposite of this kind of person?


Q: In what ways do Jack and Tim need to grow? How do they change and grow?

Put Off Put On
Thinking:

 

Actions:

Replace with:

 

Replace with:

 


Q: What other passage would you bring into the picture to help these men grow/change?

 

Q: If these brothers don’t change and grow, what impact will this have on their effectiveness in ministry in the local church?

 

Q:  Why does Satan want to use ‘communication problems’ as a means to accomplish his goals and desires?