Communication #2

Faith Church April 18, 1992

- today, we're going to be talking about Biblical
    communication

- now there are three important things to remember about the
   verses that precede the rules of communication

    1) Paul has made a strong point about how believers ought
         to be different than unbelievers.
           - INPUT - in what verses?  (4:1, 17)

    2) Paul has told us the primary difference between
        believers and unbelievers in verses 22-24.
          - INPUT?  (feeling oriented/principle oriented)

    3) Paul has given us a principle for how to change and
        grow.
         

- he goes on to illustrate that principle using the subject
   of communication

- INPUT - what are the first two rules we've studied, and
     what verses are those rules found in?

     I. Be Honest - v. 25

    II. Keep Current - v. 26-27

read 29, 30

III. Attack Problems, Not People

- when we normally think of corrupt communication, what kinds
   of things do we think of first?  (cursing, etc)

- we know that’s not primarily what Paul has in mind here
   because of the contrast he draws.


    A. Avoid unwholesome words (corrupt communication)

        - opposite of edifying

        1. words that attack the person's character

            - Matt. 5:21,22 (name calling)

        2. tears down, rips apart, or hinders growth

            - James 3:5-12

            James 3:6 - The tongue is a fire, a world of
               iniquity, so is our tongue among our members
               that it defiles the whole body, and setteth on
               fire the course of nature, and it is set on
               the fire of hell

             - some of us have become pretty adept at cutting
               words
             - most of us would say that there was a period
               of time when we developed a sinful habit in
               this area

             - for me - college - "cut down or die" - became
                           known as "Dr. Sarcasm"

             - later - mom - "How are your teeth?" - "I don't
                       know, I'm not looking at them"

             - said earlier - most of us have developed a
               habit in this area
                 - now let me ask - when did you break it?
                   (attack the problem, not the person)

        3. Clouds or by-passes the conflict

            - one of the reasons God has given us
              communication is to solve problems
            - we'll study a little later that communication
                that edifies is "solution oriented"

            - (diagram on board - arrows pointing at problem)

            - in order to do that, we've got to avoid
               corrupting communication that clouds the
               issue, or by-passes it

            - the Bible has some very graphic pictures to
              describe people who complicate matters by
              adding sinful communication to an existing
              problem
                  Prov. 26:21 - "coal to burning coals, wood
                   to fire"

                  - this verse is kind of like the analogies
                    you used to have to solve on achievement
                    tests and college entrance tests
                  - INPUT - what impact does coal have on
                       burning coals or wood have to fire?
                       - (it makes it burn hotter and longer)
                       - that’s one of the questions we need
                          to ask here: Does your
                          communication clarify issues, solve
                          problems, and thereby calm things
                          down-
                            - or are you standing there with
                              the gasoline can, pouring gas
                              on a already fire?

- that’s corrupt communication -- sinful words that do not
   solve problems--they tear down, attack people, and make
   the problem bigger and harder to manage

- another picture is a couple verse up from the line we just
   studied - verse 17

- now this is talking about a person who isn't even part of
   the problem getting involved, but the principle fits what
   we're talking about here:
     - "taking up issues that are not my concern, or at least
        shouldn't be my concern at the moment."

- INPUT - what does the verse say that kind of person is
          like?  (like a person who picks up a dog by its
          ears)

- INPUT - what is true of a person who picks up a dog by its
     ears?  (person looking for trouble)

- point is - corrupt communication cloud or by-pass the issue

        4. grieves the Holy Spirit

            - Eph. 4:30, 5:18

- before we move off of this one, what are some defusing
   statements that help us focus on the problem?

- transparency


    B. Use edifying communication which encourages or builds
        up

        1. two ways we must speak the truth in 4:15 are in
            love and to bring growth.

            - let's take those separately

            - first of all- "in love"
            - INPUT - how would you complete this statement,
               "In order to speak the truth in love, I must
                _______"
- the second part of Eph. 4:15 - I must speak the truth to
    bring about growth.

- INPUT - how is this different than the way the world
    views communication?


        2. words that edify, gives grace (the desire to do
            God's will) to those who hear

        3. words that zero in on the conflict - they are
             solution oriented

- INPUT - in this rule, what is the "put off" and what is the
    "put on"

- INPUT - is it possible to be effective at one than the
   other?
    - here's why I say that.
    - some folks would say - we have really worked at trying
      not to cut the other down, attack one another, but...
    - INPUT - How would a lot of folks fill that in? (we
         still struggle with finding solutions)

- let's "bat that around a minute"

    - Steps To Being Solution Oriented

1) Focus on the question - "what exactly is the problem?"

    - learn to do that mentally
    - learn to ask that question in non-threatening ways

2) Focus on (and be most concerned about) your side of the
    problem.

    INPUT - what question(s) could you ask to help focus on
      this?  (Honey, how and in what ways have sinned...)

3) Work at putting the problem in biblical categories.


4) Find Bible answers

    "What to do on Thursday"
    "Quick Scripture Reference"

- transparency - How could these be said better?

- let me stop us here and ask - Why are we studying these
   rules? (hit on issue of identifying ways we need to
   change)
     (also - this applies to every age - not "you can't teach
       an old dog new tricks)

-good question to ask-the words that I've spoken this week-
   have they ministered grace - or have they ministered
   something else (edifying or unwholesome?)

- Prov. 18:21 - Death and life are in the power of the tongue

- Repeat rules

read 31,32

IV.  Act, Don't React

    - you have the definitions for the various words for you
      there under letter "A"

    - point is - all of the positive words in these verses
      are actions, the negative ones are reactions

    2. the natural tendency of our Gen. 3 nature is to be
       defensive about dealing with our own sins

        contrast the Gen. 3 man from the I John 1 man
         (includes "a" and "b")

        - some of us will do just about anything before
          admitting that we did anything wrong
          (especially applicable to Christian servants)
        - cf. Trenton - kids fighting - always "he hit me
               first"
        - "He committed sin #1, makes it right for me to
           commit sin #2"


    B. Actions (vs. 32) - attitudes and actions you must "put
       on" to replace the reactions

       1. definitions (have them in the notes)

       2. you, through God's Spirit, must learn to be kind,
          tenderhearted, and forgiving

        - point is - must act instead of reacting

        - Thermometer/thermostat

    C. Conflicts are possible only if each reacts

Conclusion

    1. changing habits is not easy, but it can be done
        "that's hard" - Yes, but...
        a. it can be done - I Cor. 10:13 - There hath no
                           Phil. 4:13 - I can do all ..
        b. hard, but Prov. 13:15 - the way of the trans.

    2. No matter how irresponsible the other person is, you
       must act biblically

       - you can't control the other person, but you can
         control how you respond

Faith Church