It all started thousands of years ago. The very first postal delivery system started in 550 BC. In 150 BC, someone figured out how to send smoke signals. Then, in 1150ad, they used carrier pigeons. The printing press was invented in the year 1440. In the 1800s, we got the typewriter and the telephone. 1969 was the start of the internet. 1996 was the start of instant messaging.
Today, we text instead of talk. We communicate in short bursts of text. And it is affecting our ability to connect and to understand each other.
Now, there are some problems with texting. First, you can’t hear the tone of voice and you can’t see facial expressions. For some people, you can take a text and read it in the most negative way possible. Studies have shown that with communication, 53% facial expression, 38% voice inflection, and 7% is the actual words you use. That means that with texts, we’re only getting 7% of the message we’re trying to communicate.
Text language is confusing. We abbreviate and have all these acrostics. I want to give you a quiz on this:
- SMH: Shaking My Head
- LOL: Laughing out loud, not LOTS of Love
- WTPA: Where the party at?
- HAND: Have a nice day
- TIME: Tears in my eyes
Our relationship problems could be improved if we would learn to listen to understand and speak to be understood.
Two guys in the Old Testament who were great communicators were David and Jonathon. David and Jonathon’s friendship was solid because they knew how to communicate effectively.
After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. 1 Samuel 18:1
Keys for Communication
Speak encouraging words.
There is a big difference between flattery and praise. Look for ways to encourage someone. When you think and it’s encouraging, you should say it or text it right then.
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29
I need to ask, “Is what I’m about to say going to be helpful or is it going to hurt them? Is it going to build them up or is it going to tear them down?”
Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)
We need encouragement in our families today.
[bctt tweet=”More people fail for lack of encouragement than for any other reason. How many people stop because so few say, Go!?” username=”colephillips”]
So Saul listened to Jonathan and vowed, “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be killed.” 1 Samuel 19:6
Speak true words.
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Ephesians 4:15 (NLT)
Speaking the truth in love is not just what you say, it’s how you say it, and the spirit and the heart behind it.
But I swear to you that I am only a step away from death! 1 Samuel 20:3
Jonathan left the table in fierce anger and refused to eat on that second day of the festival, for he was crushed by his father’s shameful behavior toward David. 1 Samuel 20:34
Speak kind and controlled words.
Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. Colossians 4:6
[bctt tweet=”When you are angry, watch what you say, or it will be the best speech you will regret.” username=”colephillips”]
Listen to what is really being said.
Listening is the most important key to communication.
A wise person will listen and continue to learn, and an understanding person will gain direction. Proverbs 1:5 (GW)
As soon as the boy was gone, David came out from where he had been hiding near the stone pile. Then David bowed three times to Jonathan with his face to the ground. Both of them were in tears as they embraced each other and said good-bye, especially David. 1 Samuel 20:41
Speak from your heart.
Friends have the freedom to share their deepest innermost thoughts and feelings.
At last Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn loyalty to each other in the Lord’s name. The Lord is the witness of a bond between us and our children forever.” Then David left, and Jonathan returned to the town. 1 Samuel 20:42
[bctt tweet=”No problem is ever as dark when you have a friend to face it with you.” username=”colephillips”]
David and Jonathan put God in the middle and as they followed him, they stayed committed to each other.
If you find yourself saying something where you say, “I don’t know where that came from!” Did you say it? It came from you, that’s where!
The mouth speaks the things that are in the heart. Matthew 12:34
Your words are an overflow of your heart. What place does Jesus have in your heart? Is Jesus at the center of your heart, and your life, and the words that you say?
When God wanted to communicate the full extent of his love with you, He did it with a cross. God sent His only Son, Jesus, to give his life away, to die on the cross as the clearest message in history about how much God loves you. He wants you to receive the message.