This past Sunday, I spoke at C3 Church in our Uncommon Sermon Series! I want to share more details about my topic, Uncommon Communication because it is so important!
How many of you know we are living in uncommon times? 2020 is definitely an uncommon year.
I want to suggest that we must live an uncommon life during challenging times.
Romans 12:1-2 (MSG) “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
This sermon was very convicting to me. I like words. I’m a woman, and so I have lots of words! I enjoy speaking and using words to teach others and encourage them, yet my strength can be my weakness and so my words can hurt or even be absent.
But I think we can all agree that our communication has gotten out of control. Ex:) social media.
How can we be so free to annihilate people? We have dehumanized people, and so we can say anything to them. It has even become vicious in our homes.
Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.
The words that come out of your mouth are not a result of things being done to you; it is about what is in your heart.
If somebody is yelling and cussing at you, it is not about you; it is about them. Now, how you respond is about you.
Let’s look at a story in Numbers 13 about words.
The Israelites have been promised the promised land, and they are going to go spy out the land to see what they are up against to “take the land.”
Twelve spies go into the land and when they come back they are negative and overwhelmed with what they saw, and chaos is starting to take place:
Numbers 13:30-33 (NIV) Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
In the following verses, they started griping and complaining and talking about their leader Moses. They wanted to go back to Egypt.
Numbers 14:27-28 (NIV) “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. 28 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say:
Now God is angry at them, and all that has happened has been through WORDS.
They started setting the destiny of their future with their WORDS. They did not lose a war, and it changed their destiny. It was their WORDS.
God says - I will do to you the very thing I heard you SAY, not do. It’s not what they did, but SAID. (Because what you say affects what you do).
Joshua and Caleb said we can do this. And they did.
Four Barriers to Communication
These are also the #1 causes of divorce.
Withdrawal - You shut the whole thing down or refuse to talk about it anymore. You can also physically withdraw which is called the silent treatment. Every marriage has seen this… Can’t even touch or you lose.
Escalation - Tempers are flaring, and you are speaking loudly, which doesn’t work because if the heart doesn’t receive it, you still lose. It can also get to a very dangerous level where words are said to hurt or attack the other person.
Belittling - You have already lowered yourself by being in this crazy fight in the first place; you don’t want to rise above the escalation, so you belittle so you still feel like you are on top.
Sarcasm is belittling. It’s an insecurity issue. I’m insecure, and I can’t raise myself above, so I am just going to put you below me. Jesus told us to think of others as more important than ourselves. (Uncommon life).
False belief - This becomes demonic. Your words can become demonic, meaning the devil is actually involved in the process when it turns to false belief.
John 8 says that the devil is a liar and the father of all lies and the way he tries to destroy you is by creating lies.
When you don’t communicate, can’t talk about things, yelling all the time, silent treatment, the door is left open for Satan to tell you lies that you begin to believe. They become false realities in your mind and destroy the marriage and relationships all the more.
So what should we be speaking? We need to be Intentional and not focus on our bad habits but start making new ones.
9 types of communication
We can all use these to be intentional.
1. Praise - I am going to find your good qualities, and I am going to highlight them. Tell people what you see in them and say it!
2. Thanksgiving - Be grateful! Tell people, thank you. Try to say the word thank you at least 10 times today.
Proverbs 18:21-22 (NLT) The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.
3. Affection - We need to tell people we love them. Sometimes we don’t tell people we love them because we are afraid of getting hurt. You are just hurting yourself.
Remember... “I will do to you the very things I heard you say.”
I saw this great quote: “I love you.” You’re probably thinking, “You don’t even know me,” but if people can hate for no reason, I can choose to love.
4. Encouragement - Find somebody who is discouraged and encourage them! Infuse them with courage. Speak to their potential, speak blessing, speak life.
(Ephesians 4:29) Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Your words build up or tear down, there are no neutral words.
5. Kindness. Create an environment that is harmless; where people feel safe when you are around because you are not going to let vile stuff come out of your mouth.
I’ve said things I wish I hadn’t and then ask for forgiveness, but it’s not enough to just ask for forgiveness, we need to change to be a safe person for others.
(Proverbs 15:1 NLT) A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
6. Truth in love.
Speak the truth, but say it in love. It’s ok to say when something is wrong, but it’s not ok to enforce what’s wrong. You can say it, but not in a way that is going to intimidate others.
(Ephesians 4:15 NLT) We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ…
Jesus was full of truth, but He was also full of grace, but here is the way out.
Truth without grace is mean. Grace, without truth, is meaningless. Truth and grace is medicine to the soul.
7. Forgiveness - Receiving forgiveness and asking for forgiveness.
8. Prayer - Pray with a spouse, kids, or a friend who is having a hard time. Go to God and let Him strengthen you.
9. Speak God’s Word - We have to speak the word of God, the most powerful words.
Psalm 103 - when we speak the Word of God, God releases His angels to go to work.
Hebrews 4:12 (NLT) For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
There is power in our tongue. If you want to see restoration in your life, we have to start speaking God’s Word over our things.
We will continually be robbed of life by circumstances, sickness, financial problems, and political problems until we stand up and speak life and Uncommon Words.
Here is a declaration of restoration that you can speak over yourself:
I declare restoration over my health, words, mind, emotions, and body.
I declare restoration over my family, relationships, business, and finances.
I declare restoration over my opportunities, time, and this and coming years.
I declare my peace, joy, power, future, and present is restored.
I speak those things that are not as though they are.
What are you speaking?