communication

READ IT OUT LOUD FIRST

Please read that out-loud to me.

That is a request one pastor makes when people send him an email of criticism or correction. He adds that he wants to make sure he gets the “right tone and emphasis intended”.

Face-to-face communication is usually best, especially when there is critique involved. This was true of handwritten letters and it is even more true with email, and it’s quadruply (not a word, but you get the idea) true for social media responses.

There are two big challenges to communication at a distance:

1.  Our communication may not express the care and respect that was in our heart. A single word can create unintended negativity

2.  Our communication may use abrupt or harsh of language that we would have the sense not to use face to face.

Part of Great Commandment living is to love our neighbor as our self. This requires that we express love in every communication. Remember communication includes not only what we intend to convey, it equally involves how the other person receives it.

Here is some wisdom for electronic communication:

Try not to communicate in the emotion of the moment

Give time before you respond to what others have written to you

Read it aloud to yourself first

Ask yourself, if you would say this face-to-face

Would you say this if someone you respect was there to listen?

Does this communication have the agenda of the gospel in it?

Does this even need to be said?

And if you must respond in a corrective way:

Be prayerful

Be humble

Ask someone else to read it first

Include some form of encouragement

Soften the language as much as possible

Seek clarification, in case you misunderstood them!

Try to present your correction in the form of a question. This helps the other person think about your concern themselves.

You can read the article that inspired this post here.

MARRIAGE RETREAT EARLY REGISTRATION IS ABOUT TO END

Don’t miss this fun and relaxing opportunity to join Tim Shorey as he shares with couples in our church about Listening and Talking.

This Marriage Retreat will take place Friday, September 26 – Saturday September 27 at the ocean front El Coronado Hotel in Wildwood Crest.

But the early registration deadline is this Monday, August 4th!

Couples can share 2 and 3 bedroom suites to significantly lower your cost. Each couple in a suite will have their own bedroom and a private bathroom.

Enjoy breathtaking ocean views from your balcony or relax by the pool, in the poolside hot tub or on the beachfront sundeck.

Registration includes One night hotel accommodations, Breakfast, Coffee Breaks, Conference room rental, and all Conference Fees. A microwave, refrigerator & coffee maker are in every unit.

You can register here at the Greentree website and find out more information about the retreat schedule, speaker and hotel.

MARRIAGE RETREAT

Listening and Talking

We all know good relationships can’t happen unless we get these things right, but getting them right requires just the right blend of gospel-grace and practical down-to-earth instruction.

Tim Shorey will be leading us through a better understanding of these essentials to a strong marriage.

The retreat will take place Friday, September 26 – Saturday September 27 at the ocean front El Coronado Hotel in Wildwood Crest. Enjoy breathtaking ocean views from your balcony or relax by the pool, in the poolside hot tub or on the beachfront sundeck.

There is nothing like a walk along the beach to practice listening, talking or just being quiet together skills!

The early registration deadline is August 3rd, so don’t delay in signing up

Registration includes One night hotel accommodations, Breakfast, Coffee Breaks, Conference room rental, and all Conference Fees.

Couples can share 2 and 3 bedroom suites to significantly lower your cost. Each couple in a suite will have their own bedroom and a private bathroom.

A microwave, refrigerator & coffee maker are in every unit.

Follow this link to register and find out more information about the retreat schedule, speaker and hotel.

 

MEET THE MARRIAGE KILLER

The Wall Street Journal had a good article by Elizabeth Bernstein, on the subject of nagging entitled “Meet the Marriage Killer”.  The author wrote,”It’s more common than adultery and potentially as toxic, so why is it so hard to stop nagging?”

The article which is not written from a Christian perspective, has some helpful thoughts on why we nag and what to do differently. It should not be difficult for a believer to see how basic biblical principles can further strengthen the suggestions the author’s suggestions. You can read it here.

WikiLeaks, Should We Have An Opinion?

One of the biggest current news stories is the “WikiLeaks” publication of over 250,000 confidential U.S. State Department documents.  Much of the information is not secret information as much as it is private information. Many people are appalled, while others defend their right to print this material.


All of this provides endless fodder for cable news networks.  But does it have any biblical dimension?  Is there a Christian perspective?  Although you will not find WikiLeaks in your concordance, the Bible does give clear statements on communication, which is the heart of this news story.  What are biblical concerns and principles in the area of communication and the sharing of information?


There are times to make private information public.  For example, when a church member knowingly violates Biblical truth and refuses to accept the correction of leadership, Matthew 18:15-17 says other members of the church should be informed so an appropriate corporate response can be made.


When we do make private truth a public matter, our purpose should follow God’s agenda.  II Corinthians 5:17-20 describes that agenda in terms of “reconciliation”; which is the restoration of sinful men to a holy God through Christ’s payment for sin.  When our communication is truly for the purpose of holding someone accountable (as WikiLeaks claims), we should follow God’s method, which according to Ephesians 4:15 is to “speak the truth in love”.


The Bible contains many warnings about improper speech.  Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear”.  I Timothy 6:4 warns us against those whose speech “has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels”.  In II Timothy 1:13 Paul instructs us to “follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus”.


On their website, WikiLeaks says its purpose is to “publish material of ethical, political and historical significance”.  This sounds noble, however in reality they have spread information that they know will tear down and embarrass. When we survey the biblical principles that should guide our communication, we find that these are not God honoring forms of communication.


Of course WikiLeaks has expressed no desire to be God honoring or to submit to Biblical rule. My purpose is to present a warning against the misuse of communication by Christians who do claim to follow biblical rule.  Do we reveal private information that fulfills our purposes, at the expense of others?  Do we say things about people that tear them down in the minds of our listeners?  Does our conversation have an “unhealthy craving” for “quarrel” and “controversy”?


And we must not forget our listening!  This may be our greatest area of misusing communication. Are we active listeners or readers of Internet sites, gossip magazines and TV shows etc., which feature communication that clearly seeks to put down, tear down and embarrass?  If your first reaction to this blog is to brush away any thought of self-examination, because listening to “celebrity dirt” is so common – – when did Christ ever call us to be common people?