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10 Ways to Have More Godly Communication
 Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
  July 17, 2022

 All Rights Reserved


Today I'm sharing 10 points to make you a Godly communicator. 

1. Listen 10 more times than you talk.  We know we need to listen to God.  We also need to learn to listen to other people. Oliver Wendell Homes said:  "To be able to listen to others in a sympathetic and understanding manner is perhaps the most effective mechanism in the world for getting along with people and for good communication. Too few people practice the magic of being a good listener."  Convinced he was losing his hearing, Broadway producer, Jed Harris, went to his doctor.  The doctor pulled out his pocket watch and asked, "Can you hear this ticking?"  "Yes", Jed replied.  The doctor went into the farthest corner of the room and said, "Can you still hear it ticking?"  "Yes," he said.  Then the doctor went into the other room and asked, "Can you still hear my watch ticking?"  "Yes."  Jed said.   The doctor came back into the room and said "Mr. Harris, there's nothing wrong with your hearing, you just don't listen."  
2. Open conversations by telling people what GOOD happened to you. The ear is important to Godly communication, but so is the tongue.  Have you ever experienced "sandpaper talking?" Talking can rub us the wrong way and rather than bringing us closer together, talking can increase separation, highlight differences, and create distance. I really learned this lesson in my first year of ministry here. At that time, there was an elderly woman who came here and every time she saw me, or anyone else for that matter, she would rush up and breathlessly break into any conversation saying, "Oh, I am so glad to be here." She would then start talking over everyone else about all the bad things that had happened to her and to anyone she knew about during the previous week. People lucky enough to see her coming, avoided her like the plague. She was like a human dump truck, just waiting to dump a load of garbage, on anyone foolish enough to be standing still.  Then one Sunday morning she walked in and said to me, "I've been coming here for over a year, and I haven't made a single friend. Your church is the unfriendliest church I have ever attended." She finally did us all a favor and took herself and her negative attitude to another church. 

3. Don't worry out loud. Worrying out loud is another way we pour negativity onto others and pollute the environment.  If you have a friend who is a worrier, you might say that you like them a lot, but if you are honest, you might say that you like them even better from a distance. Worrying out loud makes the flowers of Godly communication wilt because Godly communication focuses on the good things that can and do happen. Godly communication focuses on the very best that I can visualize and believe for you. 

4. Avoid judgmental speech. Don't vocalize your judgments of other people.  Here are some things I have over heard people say to each other over the years. "Your hair looks awful that way." A person sharing about a possible new job, got this response from a friend "You are never gonna get it. They'll pick someone with more education and experience than you." When a woman told her husband what she was going to wear on their anniversary when they were going out to dinner at a fancy restaurant, he said, “I hate that dress. It makes you look old.” We have probably all been on the receiving end of someone’s negative judgment (opinion) at one time or another. How did it make you feel?  Judgment is painful and manipulative. Nothing clogs the channels of communication faster than a put-down. Judgment means “I'm right and you are wrong. I want you to do it my way." Always use Godly communication, before you speak by asking yourself: “Is it true, is it kind, is it needful.”  An ounce of “Don't say it," is worth a pound of "I didn't mean it."

5. Avoid guilt communication. Don't be another person's travel agent for a guilt trip.  Example: "If you would only do this or that, then I’d be happy." We use guilt when we are playing the victim and trying to blame or make another person feel responsible for how we feel or the condition of our lives. I invite you to ask yourself these three questions.

What is your greatest need?

Is your greatest need to be loving and kind or to be right? 

Is your greatest need to express your Godself by letting your Christ light shine or to express your human ego by trying to guilt trip another to adopt your opinion?

I’m reading to you from James 1:25, "If any think they are religious and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless."   And listen to the from James 3:2-10, "Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle.  If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also, the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.  How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!  And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature and is itself set on fire. A sea creature can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue--a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sister, this ought not to be so."

Godly communication is using our tongue and ear always in the same perfect way: to bless and to give love. Just as we first learned to talk as babies, we can learn to talk in a new way as adults.  We can learn how to uplift ourselves and others with our words.

6. Use your mouth for creating beauty and never filth.  I once saw a beautiful, well dressed, young girl sitting in a restaurant. She looked picture perfect until she accidentally spilled her coke. When that happened, a string of profanities began flying out of her mouth and she was very loud about it. There were children all around and she literally polluted the air with four lettered foulness. Things sure have changed since I was that age. I once got three weeks of after school detention in high school because someone wrote a four-letter word on my locker. I didn’t write it, but the teacher wouldn’t listen to me. She was more interested in setting an example for other kids who might be tempted to write or use profanity.

7. Never gossip. I had a friend in high school who was always talking about someone. Then one day it occurred to me, "I don't want to hear this. I don't even want to talk to this person because she is probably telling somebody everything, I tell her."  Avoid people who gossip and if you are going to talk behind someone's back talk about the good in them.  How many times has someone called you and said, "I have some wonderful gossip to share with you and then they went on to tell you good things about a mutual acquaintance?" Go back to point number four and remind yourself to always use Godly communication. Before you speak ask yourself: “Is it true, is it kind, is it needful.”  An ounce of “Don't say it," is worth a pound of "I didn't mean it." The Is it true, is it kind, is it needful applies here too.  Don't gossip.

8. In Godly Communication we use the triple AAA principle: Attention, Affirmation and Appreciation.  Don't get into a conversation just to talk about yourself: "Me, me, me, I did this, I want, I want, ....etc. "Barbara Walters once said, "The way to become a great conversationalist is to always talk in terms of the other person's interest; not about yourself."   Praise and give others attention and affirmation with your ears and eyes. Show your recognition and appreciation for what they are doing with their life. 

9. Always smile. Don't go around with a frown or scowl on your face. Smile and show your happiness and awareness that God is everywhere present and that everything is in Divine Order. Broadcast your appreciation of God's world to everyone with your smile.  

10. Love one another. I am not just talking about giving hugs and kisses. Love the person you are talking with by letting them feel God's presence through you.  Love them by seeing God in them and recognizing who they really are. They are a wonderful child of God just as you are a wonderful child of God. 

I’ll close with this thought. Somebody has said there are only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good morning, Lord," and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good Lord, it's morning."

It is up to you to choose which one you will be.

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