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Eric's Sunday Sermon; What Speaking Well is All About

Updated on March 9, 2016

Silver linings are everywhere that we look for them.

A look at part of a problem

There are three forms of communication that show us a lack of ability to verbalize appropriately. Yes indeed saying what we mean in a way it is understood by another is a learned skill. My kindergartener is just now learning to put sentences together appropriately. Not yet in exact proper tenses with perfect grammar but that will come if he learns the basic communications skills first. Teaching him to do this takes time and effort. I understand that some children do not get that time and effort put into them and therefor are missing a key phase of development. You get the picture; “give me that thing” doesn’t get changed to “Please may I have that truck”. And that becomes a problem. The child might still get it from school and friends but they will be a bit arrested in development and it is hard to catch up later.

Now back to those three forms of communication. One is blatant repetitive cursing. Another is name calling. And the third is the use of “that” “this” “thing” and “those” instead of proper nouns. These three forms of communication tell us immediately that somewhere along the way someone dropped the ball and did not help the child learn the appropriate methods of communication. It is pretty much black and white. And you should be asking about now what this has to do with a sermon. Communication is the answer.

It takes time and effort to formulate and relate matters of spirituality. Sure normal people can got to the store and get what they want using communication. But can they walk up to a priest and ask an important question about why something is thought to be a certain way. Sorry that is just not an automatic ability that we all inherently have engrained. It takes time and effort.

Clear blue water. How refreshing

Calm waters run deep
Calm waters run deep | Source

Cool Clear Water

Compassion in Communication

I am not saying that one who has the ability to communicate on this level is better than another who cannot. I cannot do the electrical wiring for a house, or perform surgery. If I put in the time and effort and learned how to then I could do it. No one can do everything in life. I can write, my wife can sell. I cannot sell and she cannot write. Oh we can crossover but we end up like the child who says “give me that thing”. There is only so much time. And learning to effectively communicate is not necessarily a priority when there is food to put on the table and schedules to keep.

So I put the onerous on the receiver of the information to fill in the blanks to lend an extra ear and try to make good common sense of what is being related. It is hard to make sense sometimes but worth the effort rather than taking offense if something is misspoken. The rewards there far outweigh the short term frustrations. It is easy to remark “that makes no sense”. It is kind to reply, “Can you say it a different way so as to make sure I understand you because what you believe is important to me?”

Sometimes it gets really tough in the day to day when you live your life around civilized conversation and someone drops the “F” bomb regularly and the “S” word every other sentence. But be good to them. Probably something way out of their control has basically forced that communication style onto them. No child would choose to be limited in their education and development. So why should we choose to ignore or disregard the person who clearly did not have the advantages that we did. If we are compelled to love our enemy should we not try equally hard to love our neighbor with compassionate language reflecting care?

Tough going ahead

One step and one word at a time gets the job done.
One step and one word at a time gets the job done. | Source

Just some music that lets my mind wonder

Look for and be the good

If you are reading this you are sophisticated to a certain degree. I say things backwards to normal speech patterns and I get off into the abstract. But I write for the people sitting in the cyber pews. When I was a preacher man in the physical I sermonized to young second generation immigrant children and I sermonized to older folks with English as a passable second language. I promise you I did not word sentences and concepts as I do here. So that brings us to the second part of communication. Do you want to look all impressive and sound all sophisticated or do you want to be understood by your in fact audience? I have had the great opportunity to work closely with people who have English as a second language – or sometimes a third. We were put together somehow in order to communicate and get certain things done. That requires a great deal of give and take. When I was a youngster I had the opportunity to live and work in Paris France. Spanish was my second language and picking up conversational French was difficult for me. To this day over forty years later I still remember some folks who were quite rude about my trying to communicate in French. But I remember many who were very kind and helpful. Helping someone to communicate by communicating in a helpful manner with them is a kindness that is priceless. And we should be no less kind to someone struggling to communicate in our own language due to circumstances related to the vagaries of birthright. We all want and need a voice.

We recently had a water heater blowout. We needed replacement and we needed it ASAP. A friend who is a plumber was called. Immediate arrangements were made. I know what a valve is and I can see a leek. I know the difference between hot and cold and gas. But I do not know all the fancy terminology that plumbers use. The guy is a good plumber because he broke it down into terms a laymen could understand for both my wife and I. Well he is also just a good plumber. But notice my first impression of how good he is, is how he can relate what needs to be done. If you want to be considered good at something you need to be able to communicate to your audience.

I actually have been trained to use words to hurt, point out inconsistences and manipulate people. You guessed it I have some training in the field of law. It has taken some decades to remove that from my lexicon of verbal and written tools. I still fall prey to it in given circumstances. But I claim to be a work in progress not a perfected man. As a young man I took some evil pride in using words to “rip somebody apart”. Now that I am an older and hopefully a bit wiser man I take some pride in using my words to build somebody up.

Lord help me to use my words to build foundations and relationship rather than walls and tearing things down. Help give me the strength to pause and listen with my heart as well as my mind and to find good things rather than bad. I pray you boost me up so that I can boost others. And let me quickly repent and reconcile when my listening or use of words fall short of goodness. Amen

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Been there and done that and have the T-shirt. But generally I use a softer more polite approach like my mom taught me. Ha ha ha. We all have bad days. Thanks Lawrence

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 21 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      I wanted to add 'approaching a cashier or teller, slapping your card down so hard it nearly breaks their machine and grunting at them leaving them to work out what you're saying!'

      Thank you for reminding me to be polite to those who do it as I don't always feel like it!

      Enjoyed the hub though

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Shaloo

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 21 months ago

      Compassion in communication...awesome!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Frank it is a blessing to me that you found something useful here. And another blessing that you let me know. I really appreciate that.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton

      Eric as I read your hub in silence it so loud and clear.. you have a knack for that..as always love your Sunday Sermons my friend...:) bless you big time

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      My momma let me be watched by her cousin. He was some kind of preacher. He beat me for saying darned. My dad found out and beat him.

      Respect must run in two directions. My son just learned the term "buttcrack" he whispered it in my ear after seeing mine while I was doing some plumbing. Just don't let mom hear or the teacher.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      My mouth has its own brakes, Eric, developed over decades of being around a very religious grandmother and a mother who would wash my mouth out with soap at the appearance of a swear word, even though sometimes she and the girls could be heard cursing like sailors. I'm an old fashioned guy, so cursing around the ladies is definitely prohibited, even when their speech is not always full of sweetness.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mel your words are best described as poetic tantalization. You carve out niches where it is a delight to sit and read for a while.

      Don't tell anyone but I think the occasional F bomb is worthy of note. Perfectly placed it has merit. But never ever in front of my wife please as you will not be invited back ;-)

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      I got my F bombs in my early stages of cognitive development, when I was in the Navy in my 20s. I'm still working on purging them from my vocabulary, but sometimes they add depth and color in ways other words cannot. I'm a work in progress.

      Let us not forget that good communication is not always verbal. Some guy named Moses was supposed to be "slow of speech," but he turned out to be a pretty good prophet, probably in the top ten. He had ways of getting his point across that didn't require speech, like throwing heavy stone tablets down on people's heads. Or was that just Charlton Heston?

      Anyway, I love your sermons, I derive much edification from them, and I enjoy reading these little snippets about your previous life. Have a fantastic Sunday!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Hari, I like what you said. I think as long as we are caring what we say or write it will come out the right way. Thank you for coming by for a visit and leaving a note.

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 21 months ago from Bangalore

      Eric,

      While I am writing this comment, I am finding so much difficulty. The thoughts are flowing in all aspects of communication. So to make it worth while, I have to think about framing it, erasing, rephrasing it yet not get frustrated. This is what I learnt. Awesome.

      - hari

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Devika, thank you for coming by and leaving a note.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 21 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great thought and so useful to one's mind.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora, as long as I can still try to be and kind and loving as you are. We are so blessed to have our faith during trying times.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 21 months ago from The Caribbean

      Amen to the prayer. I just want to add my desire to be as kind and forgiving as you are, Eric. Thanks for the lessons.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana, how right you are. And it never ends while they are children.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 21 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Kids need to be taught to speak well as soon as they start putting sentences together. It is easier to train children than to retrain adults.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby, thank you. I count it as a blessing to be able to write these sermons. I don't deserve it or have a right to it. But I sure am happy that I get to.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      It is so important how one communicates with another. Words can hurt deeply or calm the soul. Your sermons calm and teach the goodness in life. Thank you...

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill you are always welcome around here - without the guilt. But maybe I should write one up on the subject hmmm

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Just like going to church without the Catholic guilt. :)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Denise my mom used to say it a different way. "just like tasting all the different foods, you must be friends with all different people - or you just might miss something you dearly love".

      If we shy from folks because they are different then how can we love them?

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 21 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Eric, we are all a work in progress! I am amazed at the way you are able to get to the heart of the matter in such a kind way. We all have weaknesses and imperfections, and we would do well to be kind to others rather than pointing out their issues, even if we do see them blatantly! I like the Lord's adage that we are to take the mote out of our own eye before addressing the beam in someone else's!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda we just had a session in the car about speaking up. Mumbling is rude, whispering is rude. Speak up and act like you have something to say.

      I think still it is the biggest fear - public speaking.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 21 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, everything you say here is so true, but golly GOLLY sometimes it takes a lot of effort and concentration and gobs of patience to slow down the pace so that the communication can happen.

      I recently watched a TV show (on a cooking channel) in which two young people (13 or 14 years of age) were placed in a professional kitchen and given the task of creating a professional-grade meal in one hour. They did not have recipes. All they had to guide them was an ear bud and the guidance of a professional chef giving them every task, procedure and nuance they needed to do to complete the meal. Communication?

      In the end both of them made a stunning meal that could have been proudly served in any restaurant.

      Speaking well? Just another form of love my brother.