Tuesday, January 03, 2012

January 3, 2012 … Communication: God’s Vehicle of Humility

Passage of the Day: Reading Plan Reference – Day 3 … Genesis, Chapter 8 – 11 … Study Scripture Reference: Genesis 11: 1-8 NIV 1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
3 They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.4 Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth."
5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building.6 The Lord said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."
8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

My Journal for Today: It’s DAY 3 of my chronological journey through the Bible; and I’m getting into God’s dealings with His sin-ridden children as they came out of the big flood with God imparting His covenant with Noah. But as we read in Chapters 8 – 11 of Genesis, God’s people, the ones remaining after the cleansing flood, reverted to their sinful and prideful ways; and God had to use another vehicle to bring mankind into submission; and to do this, as we read in today’s passage above from Genesis, chapter 11, God used the vehicle of verbal communication to humble mankind and prevent them from getting too prideful.

As mankind came out of the tower-building episode in Babel, God scattered His children all over the world, causing them to speak in varied and regionalized tongues. And being a speech pathologist during most of my adult, income-producing life, I’ve always been intrigued by God’s strategy to humble mankind, choosing to keep the various tribes and people groupings separated as much by language differences or through communication barriers as through geographic differences.

When we look at any human difficulty in interaction, where is usually the heart of the brokenness? It’s poor communication, isn’t it? The number one force which breaks up marriages is communication difficulties. … When people try to settle their differences in court, what is the vehicle of advocacy by the lawyers? It’s verbal communication. … When there are fighting wars between peoples, why do they use bombs to communicate? It’s because they can’t communicate with words. … And when we have difficulty interacting with any of our friends, let alone our enemies, what is the primary reason? Well, it’s our prideful use of words which creates a barrier of brokenness in our relationships.

ALWAYS, when relationships between individuals, institutions, and/or countries are broken down, it is a brokenness and pridefulness of verbal communication that has been at the heart of the brokenness; and it will only be through a humbling of the words which will heal the brokenness or bring a repair of the interaction between God’s people. And I believe that is why the Apostle Paul wrote, when he was trying to get God’s church in Ephesus to heal the brokenness which had erupted in that church, WORDS of exhortation about how man should use verbal communication. He wrote the following God-inspired verbal directive concerning verbal communication.

Ephesians 4: 29Do 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.

We humans, just like those who were scattered from Babel, have this incurable disorder of pridefulness to deal with in interacting with one another. And when pride expresses itself, it is almost always is done through the vehicle of verbal communication, which either exacerbates the interaction distances or exercises healing in bringing peoples back together. God has given mankind free will; but only when we freely find and use Godly, humble words to communication will we, as God’s children, be able to express God’s love to one another.

When you read Paul’s exhortation from Eph. 4: 29 above – from God using HIS WORDS to us – what does it simply and clearly say to us about how we should communicate verbally to one another? … Well, to me it says, … If I communicate with you, I NEVER should use words which are disruptive or words of mal-intent. Instead I MUST use words which either build you up or give you grace – God’s grace. In other WORDS, … if it doesn’t edify you or express God’s loving grace to you, I should not say it! Because if I do, I’m only babbling (interesting term in that communication difficulties resulted from pridefulness in “Babel”) selfish pridefulness, which will always bring brokenness to relationships.

So, today, DAY 3, of my trek chronologically through God’s word, He used HIS WORD to say to me that MY WORDS are important … and that I must humbly seek to use them to edify others and to communicate God’s grace into my interaction with others.

May we all take heed to God’s word about our words.

My Prayer Today: Lord, help me use my words to reflect Your Word. … Amen

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