Waynedale United Methodist Church
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

Feb. 8, 2015 Sermon

“Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!”
Proverbs 15:1 – 8, 12 – 14
Ted Jansen  February 8, 2015  Waynedale UMC
 

1.)        A man comes into a lumberyard and asks for some four by twos.  The clerk says, “you mean two by fours?”  He says, “just a moment, I’ll go and check.”  The man goes out to the car and has a short conversation with his friends.  He returns and says, “yes, I mean two by fours.”  The clerk then asks, “how long do you want them?”  The man says, "I will be right back."  He then goes back to the car and has a conversation with his friends.  When he comes back he announces; “I want the two by fours a long time, we are building a house.”   (1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking, #154)

            Communication is a constant challenge as we seek to understand one another. 

 

2.)        Our tool today is a hammer and nail.  The hammer and nail are what are used to connect two boards together.  (Hammer two boards together).  When the nail is driven between the boards they stay together.  It takes energy and momentum from the hammer to drive the nail to keep the board connected. 

            Communication takes energy and momentum between two people.  When communication works two people will stay connected, a relationship will be healthy. 

            When our relationships are good, life is good.  When relationships are not good, it can feel like life is bad. 

            That is why one form of punishment for prisoners is to place them in solitary confinement.  They live in some isolated cell without any opportunities for relationship, they are not able to communicate with others. 

 

3.)        Proverbs is a book that seeks to teach about wisdom for living.  In the 31 chapters of this book there are lots of parables, sayings, truths, poems and insights on living.   

            Two basic ways to make your relationships better are to: listen with understanding and speak truthfully.  As we look at Proverbs 15:12, 14 we read these insights. 

            “A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise… the discerning heart seeks knowledge.” 

            These verses remind us that the goal of listening to another with the desire of understanding is a great thing.  When we shut ourselves off to others we are in danger of not being wise, being instead foolish.  We must listen in love.    

            “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh words stirs up anger…the tongue of the wise commends knowledge,..the tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit…The lips of the wise spread knowledge.” (Proverbs 15:1, 2, 4, 7)

            These truths remind us of the importance of speaking so that others will benefit.  People will want to listen to us because we speak with a gentle spirit, a spirit of confidence, a spirit of love and truth.   

            As we consider these truths from scripture about listening and speaking let us discover how we do this in relationships. 

 

4.)        Each person is either an introvert or extravert in their style of speaking and listening.  We are a blend of these two but one is our primary way of being connected. 

Are you a more of a talker or more of a listener?  We need to understand who we are and how others are different.   

            Introverts tend to take information inside of them and think about it, ponder it, reflect upon it, and bounce thoughts inside the brain and spirit.  Extraverts tend to keep talking, talking, talking, talking, talking to sort it out, figure it out, discuss it, and hash it out in an external manner.  Do you see the difference?    

 

5.)        When you communicate as an introvert you need a safe way to express the thoughts inside of you.  You need the other person to listen, they don’t need to offer any of their thoughts or ideas, just listen.  When you as an introvert are listening you don’t need to judge the importance of what is being shared with you.  Just listen and receive things as they are.  The thoughts of an extraverted person are in process, not figured out.      

            When you communicate as an extravert you need someone to allow you to talk to be able to express yourself.  You don’t have things figured out, you are not 100% sure of your feelings, thoughts, ideas, etc., so you need someone to hear you.  When you as an extravert are listening you should not keep talking and try to figure things out.  If you can be still that is probably enough for the other person. 

            One way to understand the difference is to see that extraverts process the world and communicate in an outer form.  Introverts process the world and communicate in an inner realm. 

            We need the balance of introverted and extraverted communication and relational tools.  At its best it keeps us healthy.  When stress and tension fill a relationship you can see how the differences can create a wedge that seems to grow. 

 

6.)        Gary Smalley has written a book called the “DNA of Relationships.”  He offers some insights to understand our relationships so that we might communicate better. 

            A basic premise he shares is that we were created with a desire and capacity for relationship with ourselves, with others, and with God.   

            As you think about the relationship with yourself, with others and with God what expectations do you have, and what ways do you express yourself?  Let’s look at those two words as it relates to communication.  

 
7.)        Expectations  

Dr. Smalley shares that we all have needs and wants in relationships.  He lists 25 wants, or basic expectations, in his book that drive our relationships.    

            Here are a few of the 25 that he identifies.  He says that we want or expect:   acceptance, companionship, success, love, respect, honor, significance, support, affection, trust, joy.  Let’s look at one area, acceptance, and how this affects our communication in relationships. 

If we struggle with acceptance of ourselves, acceptance from others, acceptance from God then this can impact how we communicate our thoughts, ideas, feelings, dreams, etc, with ourselves, with others and with God.  We will not communicate with a confident spirit in our relationships if we don’t believe we are accepted. 

            If we accept ourselves, if we believe that those closest to us accept us and if we believe that God accepts us, then we can communicate in a confident way and seek to listen to others in a loving, understanding way.      

            What are the relationship expectations you have of yourself, of others, of God?     

8.)        Expressions

             When we express ourselves fully we are able to communicate the facts and the feelings connected to those facts.  Dr. Smalley says that we all have fears about sharing our feelings in relationships.  When we are sharing our innermost thoughts, ideas, feelings we need a large amount of trust because we are vulnerable. 

            I remember one time in a sermon I shared my feelings that as a pastor there are some Sundays I would rather not be in worship with people.  I was being vulnerable at that point and was not sure if people would accept that in me.  I realized that people did.  We all have areas we struggle with in our lives and to express those helps others.      

 

9.)        When we communicate, when we listen it takes energy.   If we have no energy we don’t have a relationship.  When you exert energy in communication you strengthen that relationship. 

            It takes energy to drive a nail into two boards.  When you do that they stay connected because the nail connects. 

            It is important to keep communicating, keep listening, keep desiring relationship, and keep learning about other people.     

 

10.)      A man was invited to some old friends' home for dinner. His buddy preceded every request to his wife by endearing terms, calling her Honey, My Love, Darling, Sweetheart, Pumpkin, etc.

He was impressed since the couple had been married almost 60 years. While the wife was off in the kitchen, the guy said to his buddy, "I think it's wonderful that after all the years you've been married, you still call your wife those pet names."

His buddy hung his head. "To tell you the truth, I forgot her name about ten years ago."   (Jokes4U.com)

 

11.)      Let’s not forget to communicate.  We seek to: understand others, understand ourselves, name our expectations, share our facts and feelings.      

            As we communicate in words let us also remember to communicate with our posture, tone of voice and face.  All of these go together.  When we say, “I forgive you. I appreciate you.  I disagree with you,” let us do so with a language that others will see our spirit and heart.     

Who is it that you need to focus on in listening to more of?  Who do you need to express yourself to? 

We need to look at the boards and take our hammer and nail and invest the energy to communicate so that we will have great relationships.     

 

12.)      I want to show you a video called, “Words,” by Hawk Nelson.  It describes the importance of using our words to help and heal.  We have to realize that when we speak words they have the power to take relationships and pull them apart.  Instead of communication and bonding, they can tear us apart. 

(Hawk Nelson, “Words.”  (Video on YouTube - itsal4him777 version)

 
Closing Prayer