I am in the family room with my feet propped up watching and listening to my two younger kids play a game. I took my turn and am now waiting. The title of this games is Keep Talking and No one Explodes. It is literally a bomb defusing game. It is played with one person on the computer and one with a printed manual. The idea is to communicate and not “blow” up. We have done fair. Only exploded 60% of the time. Okay, that is not so hot. The kids are better at it than me, but they have had a bit more practice. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.
- How many wires do you see?
- How many red wires are there?
- Okay, cut the last wire.
- The last one?
- Are you sure?
- I’m sure.
- Really? Be sure.
- Yes, for heaven’s sake, cut the wire!
- BOMB EXPLODES ON SCREEN
- Okay, maybe I wasn’t sure
Communication is a huge deal in life. It is a necessity to keep things running smoothly in every aspect where we deal with other human beings. Wow. So, we are referring to work, family, church, shopping, …. this is too much for me to fathom. I am supposed to be cautious and careful in my communication? Why don’t other people just make allowances for me, and then things would be just perfect? If only!
Sometimes when you need a bit of entertainment, go and people watch at the local Mart store or shopping mall. It is the funniest thing. When you get past the weird way people dress then start noticing people communicating, or not. People yelling at their family members, some so angry with each other they won’t even speak. Folk complaining to employees, and occasionally quite boisterously. Every single person trying to push their point of view on the other, giving no caution about the other’s feelings, or purpose.
Now, as I have said before, I am a Bible-believing person. I do my best to follow what the Good Book instructs me. Yet just like playing baseball, you may not get a home run every time, but you should always aim for the fence. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (1 Corinthians 15:33 KJV) Wow, you can sure see that people watching!
Ephesians 4:29, Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Now for those of us who are not Bible scholars, corrupt is having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain. How many times have I opened my mouth with the intent of gaining personal superiority? In other words, giving someone a piece of your mind just to make yourself feel better. We have all probably been guilty of that at one time or another.
Edifying means to instruct or benefit, especially morally or spiritually; uplift. So, these people who really do need our instruction need to be told in the right way. Oh, help me, Lord! Cause I honestly, want to tell them exactly how it is!
Grace in Ephesians 4:29 literally is a Greek word meaning that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness. When was the last time you set out to say anything that followed that pattern? Hum, you don’t answer that and neither will I.
Just like the kids had to learn how to talk to each other to keep the simulated bomb from exploding, we must learn to talk the right way and to listen the right way. Listening is just as important as proper speech. The person in the game giving the instructions must be heard correctly by his teammate or the instructions are useless.
There is a ton more that could be said here about positively communicating but I will tell you one thing I know for sure. It must start somewhere, and it might as well start with me.
So the game name should be Keep Talking Correctly or You Might Explode. I guess it doesn’t have the same ring to it, but I bet the next time you think about telling someone off, you will remember this story and the scripture. Then hopefully a bit of grace will be on your lips.