Introduction: Mt. 7:12 (Often problems arise in relationships due to a lack of communication. Family relationships are no exception to this. Although the teaching set forth here will regulate communication in any context, it is specifically designed to speak to our families. The text sets forth a principle that should be followed in every area of our lives. But as it is applied to communication, you can see the basic premise underlying this study. Communicate with others the way you want them to communicate with you. For the purpose of this study, communication will be divided into four basic areas; listening, answering, speaking and resolution.)
I. Listening: To learn to be a good communicator, you must learn to be a good listener.
1. Be A Ready Listener: Jas. 1:19 (Contrast being swift to hear with being slow to speak. To be a good listener, you must give more attention to listening than to speaking.)
2. Look For Areas Where You May Be Wrong: Prov. 12:15 (If you fail to see that you are sometimes wrong, you are a fool!)
3. Try To Understand The Other Person's Point Of View: Prov. 18:2, 15 (If you don't seek to understand others, you are a fool. It is wise to search for knowledge and understanding in what others are saying.)
4. Seek The Interests Of Others: Phil. 2:3 (This teaches us to be unselfish. Being unselfish will reflect in the way you listen to others.) 1 Cor. 10:33 (Paul left this example for us.)
II. Answering: The next step to good communication is knowing how to answer what is said to you.
1. Listen First: Prov. 18:13 (You must let the other person finish speaking before you can answer.)
2. Think First: Prov. 15:28 (Give yourself time to study your answer before responding.) Prov. 29:20 (A hasty response is of no value and exposes you as a fool.)
3. Don't Quarrel: Prov. 17:14 (It is possible to passionately disagree without fighting.) Prov. 20:3 (Pride makes us want to keep on fighting but true honor comes to the person who stops the fight. It's harder for a person to fight when their opponent refuses to engage. Unlike war, you can refuse to fight without surrendering.)
4. Don't Shout: Eph. 4:31 (Clamoring means to shout. When you shout you are sinning!)
5. Don't Use Profanity: Eph. 5:2-4 (Foolish talking, etc., has reference to profane language. This has no place in your communication.)
6. Don't Seek Revenge With Your Words: Rom. 12:17, 21 (There is no place in the Christian heart for vengeance! When you respond to hurtful words with a desire to get revenge, you are sinning!)
7. Use A Soft Answer: Prov. 15:1, Prov. 25:15 (A soft answer is more disarming than cruel words. A soft answer involves tone of voice and content.)
III. Speaking: Then you must learn to express your ideas an acceptable way.
1. Tell The Truth: Rev. 21:8 (Dishonesty can cost you your soul! There is no place in communication for deceitfulness or dishonesty.)
2. Speak It With Love: Eph. 4:15 (The truth alone it not enough. It must be said with love.) 1 Cor. 13:4-8 (Love will dictate many aspects of the way we speak.)
3. Don't Tear Down: Eph. 4:29 (It is a sin to speak words for the purpose of tearing others down. If you live by the insult, you will die by the insult. If it is wrong to try to tear the other person down, how much more wrong is it to do this in the presence of others?)
4. Don't Nag: Prov. 27:15 (Nagging makes it difficult it the other person to listen to you.)
IV. Settlement: Effective communication leads to a settlement of problems and differences. To effectively communicate you must learn to resolve problems, not just discuss them.
1. Confess: Jas. 5:16 (As Christians, we are to confers our sins to another trusted Christian. When you wrong someone, you need to confess that wrong and seek their forgiveness.)
2. Repent: II Cor. 7:10-11 (True repentance involves the fruit of a concentrated effort to change.)
3. Forgive: Lk. 17:3 (When the offending person repents, you must forgive.) Prov. 17:9 (Once a matter is resolved and the offender has been forgiven, don't bring it up again.)