Posted on February 18th, 2005 in Christianity and Faith, General, My Life | Written by Ben | 2 Comments »
Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
As promised, I wanted to share some of what I learned at the recent Biblical Counseling Conference. The truths we learned were first applicable to me as a growing Christian, though they are also things I am now more equipped to share with others.
Among the foundation stones are the four rules of communication, revealed in Ephesians 4:25-32. Just a little background first…
1. Believers can learn to solve problems biblically and build good relationships – especially for the husband-wife but in all aspects of life.
2. The Bible tells us some important facts about our communication. (James 3:2, Proverbs 18:21)
3. The book of Ephesians provides some tremendous help in communication.
So what are the four rules?
1. Be Honest, v25 – it sounds easier than it is in practice
a. Put off lying (includes outright deceit, embellishments of the truth and “backdoor messages” of innuendo, sarcasm)
b. Put on speaking the truth
-Continually, Comprehensively, Compassionately, to the appropriate person
-Not telling all my thoughts or “speaking my mind”
-Honesty about my problems, not just others’ problems
-Discussing for the purpose of finding a solution
2. Keep Current, v26, 27
a. Solve today’s problems today! “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger”
b. Six questions to ask yourself before bringing up a difficult problem
1) Do I have the facts right? Prov 18:13
2) Should love hide it? 1 Pet 4:8
3) Is my timing right? Prov 15:23b
4) Is my attitude right? Eph 4:15
5) Are my words loving? Eph 4:15
6) Have I prayed for God’s help? Eph 4:28
3. Attack the Problem, Not the Person, v29, 30
a. Put off words that tear down and attack the person (unwholesome, designed to hurt)
b. Put on words that build up and attack problems
*Phil 2:3-4: consider the other person’s interests & problems & perspectives as more important than mine
*Matt 7:2-5: words that focus on my personal responsibility and deal with my own sin, providing specific steps for change
4. Act, Don’t React v31, 32
a. Put off communication that is a reaction (the “natural tendency”)
1) Bitterness: smoldering resentment
2) Wrath: flaring outbursts of rage
3) Anger: internal smoldering, indignation or hostility
4) Clamor: harsh contention and strife
5) Slander: ongoing defamation
6) Malice: the desire to harm others
b. Put on communication that acts correctly
1) Kind: benevolent, helpful
2) Tenderhearted: compassionate, sympathetic
3) Forgiving: giving up your right to revenge or hold a grudge
c. Conflicts occur only when each person reacts
That’s it! There’s a lot to chew on there, and admittedly it’s only a sketch outline. But since having heard this presented, I’ve returned to my notes and some of the Scripture passages several times. Why? Because my communication isn’t where it needs to be all the time yet. But by God’s grace, I’m growing. And hopefully these truths will be a help to you, too, as you study them out.
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