I hope, too, they prick a few consciences other than my own and help the reader see that there might be another way of living if he is going down a path that is not helpful or to encourage the reader who’s already headed in a direction of healing and needs some pats on the back or some practical insights along the way.That summarizes my goal nicely: To Goad and To Encourage.
Sometimes this blog is me thinking out loud. I don’t know what I think so I start writing about it to think it through. Just as when you are having a conversation with the friend and you say something you’ve never said, and you get one of those ah-ha moments and your thoughts on that subject have moved in a different, and hopefully, better, direction, so too, this happens to me when I’m writing.
This new series of blogs on what the book of Proverbs says about communication is a case in point. I’ve been thinking for some time now that communication isn’t always about technique. This is pretty humbling to me because I pride myself on teaching communication techniques to couples and, indeed, our company is called “Heart to Heart Communication!” I’m pretty good at teaching technique to couples on how to create an atmosphere so that positive communication can take place, how to say what they need to say in a way that can be heard, how to talk about things when the two of them disagree, and how to make decisions when they disagree. I’ve taught this to 1000’s of couples. It’s pretty rewarding and fun to see couples reach a different place and start to thrive in their relationship.
But I can’t help everyone with this.If you are drunk or in the middle of an affair or madder than a pistol or your mind is filled with lustful thoughts from continual exposure to pornography, or have a habit of lying, all the great communication techniques in the world aren’t going to help you communicate.As we’ve been saying, you ARE communicating no matter what.It’s just that if you want to communicate “positively” you are going to have to have a heart that is not wading around in the sewer.If your mind or life is the latter, your communication is going to stink.You’ll still have plenty of communication going on, it’s just not going to bring any blessing to anyone, least of all yourself.What you say will reveal your heart…eventually.
This is what the following verse is trying to say:
Proverbs 15:2 The mouth of the fool gushes folly.
There it is in black and white. What you say will reveal your heart. It’s like red die in the washing machine. Everything that comes out will have that tint to it. You can hide this for a while. But sooner or later what you say will reveal your heart. So, be warned to be careful what you think.
Those resentful thoughts you are nurturing against your mother-in-law or your boss or your child or your spouse?Someday, it’s going to come out like a flood.Beware the souls downriver from your tirade. Those lustful thoughts you are having about your co-worker or those pics online or that movie star you keep googling?Your words will eventually reveal that your mind spends way too much time in the gutter.You can’t hide that forever.This is how seemingly upright people end up with sexual abuse charges on their sorry butts.Or you say something that will literally get you fired.
Who of us has hearts that are pure?What your heart is filled with, it will overflow with.You think such and such?Then that’s what your mouth will speak.Eventually.
I had to learn this the hard way.I like to zero in on a topic of interest and really hone in on it and figure it out.I usually try to pick topics that will make my life better.You could have guessed this already.The last few years I’ve been honing in on the topic of money and read a bunch on it, mostly because I was ignorant and I was getting too old to be ignorant on it and I needed to be more conscientious and wise about it.I’ve blogged about that topic at length and it’s easy now to dialogue about it because I have a much larger knowledge base.I’m sure my family is getting me sick of me talking about it and wishes I’d start reading about something else!Eventually, I’ll reach a saturation point and move on to some other topic.
In a particular time in my life I read at length about a pretty negative topic. It was interesting, educational, even fascinating, but a bit gross and not very uplifting. Okay, it was depressing. I’d read like ten books on the subject. During that time I was at a family gathering and I started talking to a loved one about this subject, because this is what I’d been thinking about in my spare time, and I could tell by the look on my relative’s face that what I was saying wasn’t what I should be saying. I decided that day to quit reading on that subject. I’m still interested in it, but I don’t want those thoughts spilling out of my mind.
I’m feeling the same way about TV. So much drivel. So much negativity. So many self-righteous people scoffing at so many reprobates, on and on, the same song, second, 100th, millionth verse.Enough.Take your gossip elsewhere.I’ve got better things to think about.I don’t want that spilling out the sides.I hope I have better things to think about than that.
This is a REALLY scary thought: You can tell what channel a person is watching or radio program he is listening to by what he talks about!YIKES!I had a friend who loved blue cheese.He ate it every day at the company cafeteria, until he went to the doctor and the doctor looked at the blood test from my friend and asked him if he liked blue cheese.My friend freaked.Yes, why do you ask?The doctor said it was in his blood!CREEPY!He quit eating blue cheese after that.
Hey, maybe it’s time you quit a few things also.You want this crap spilling out of your mouth and onto your kids and your spouse and your coworkers and them really thinking this is who you are?
What are you thinking about? What are you filling your mind with? Enough. It’s time to fill your mind with something else. Cool it with the hurt and the pain and the nurturing of your wounds and the resentments and the shortcomings of everyone else and how everyone else has hurt you and is out to get you and woe is me I’m going to eat some worms. Enough. ENOUGH!