How to Identify True Friends

True Friends

With the invention of social media, various networks create the opportunity for people to connect in all sorts of amazing ways. Friends, family and acquaintances are able to interact in ways that may not be possible due to distance or other restrictions. With many positives, one dangerous thing about this is the way the word “friend” has become cheapened in this process. In a single click somebody you don’t know or barely know becomes your “friend”. This list of “friends” can become huge before you know it. I understand the value and benefits of social networks, but we need to make sure that as Christians we don’t allow important things like friendship to be cheapened, redefined or even hijacked. Continue reading How to Identify True Friends

Christ Exalting Communication

Communication

Communication is a gift from God. He spoke the universe into existence (); He speaks to us through His Son (), and the Scriptures are often referred to as Word of God (eg. ). God communicates.

Communication occurs when there is an imparting or sharing of information. Communication can come in many forms like speaking, writing a letter, sending an email, tweeting, or posting on Facebook. The Lord is the greatest and only perfect example of clear and effective communication as seen in His Word. As His people, it is our duty to communicate in such a way that we glorify Him. We need to understand that by using poor communication we can not only tear people down, but we can also provide a terrible testimony. As the people of God, we ought to take communication very seriously.

In this post, I want to consider some principles on how we can have Christ exalting communication.

SPEAK THE TRUTH
Christ exalting communication must be truthful (). In contrast to lying, deceiving, manipulating and exaggerating it is the duty of God’s people to communicate truthfully (). We ought to speak the truth because God speaks the truth (). We need to remember that “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord” (). Christ exalting communication will be truthful communication. Let us examine our speech that it does not depart from reality. Whether our communication be in speech or writing, it must be true.

SPEAK WITH LOVE
Secondly, Christ exalting communication must be loving (). To communicate with love means to convey information in such a way that it reveals your desire for their welfare. One commentator states, “love seeks the highest good in the one loved” (Harold Hoehner, Ephesians: An Exegetical Commentary, Baker Academic, 2007, p. 565). This is not referring to a sentimental or superficial kind of “love.” Instead, this is a loyal and deliberate love without hypocrisy (). Don’t speak down to people or employ harsh tones. Communicate in such a way that you are seeking to ultimate good.

SPEAK WITH HOLINESS
The apostle Paul said to the Ephesians, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (). Communication that is Christ exalting will not neglect the principles found in Scripture regarding pure and sound speech. Corrupt, coarse, and crass speech comes in all sorts of forms. It can simply be a thoughtless or stupid approach in which someone doesn’t carefully consider what they are saying. Or it can come in the form of one using words or humour that dishonours God. Christ exalting communication does not make use of a form of speech that is marked by the things we were redeemed from (; ), but rather makes use of words that come from an individual who is a new creation with a message of hope.

Remember that communication is a gift from God. As the people of God it ought to be our desire and practice to convey Christ exalting communication. I will conclude with some observations of speech from an earlier post,

The book of Proverbs has much so say about our speech. Though we could look at many, consider three sample principles to remember: Speaking too much can lead to trouble (); gentle speech can diffuse anger whereas harsh speech can provoke anger () and think before you speak (). These principles provide practical wisdom in the use of our words.

1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
but those who act faithfully are his delight.

15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Ephesians 5:4

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.

13 If one gives an answer before he hears,
it is his folly and shame.

Christ Exalting Communication

Communication

Communication is a gift from God. He spoke the universe into existence (); He speaks to us through His Son (), and the Scriptures are often referred to as Word of God (eg. ). God communicates.

Communication occurs when there is an imparting or sharing of information. Communication can come in many forms like speaking, writing a letter, sending an email, tweeting, or posting on Facebook. The Lord is the greatest and only perfect example of clear and effective communication as seen in His Word. As His people, it is our duty to communicate in such a way that we glorify Him. We need to understand that by using poor communication we can not only tear people down, but we can also provide a terrible testimony. As the people of God, we ought to take communication very seriously.

In this post, I want to consider some principles on how we can have Christ exalting communication.

SPEAK THE TRUTH
Christ exalting communication must be truthful (). In contrast to lying, deceiving, manipulating and exaggerating it is the duty of God’s people to communicate truthfully (). We ought to speak the truth because God speaks the truth (). We need to remember that “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord” (). Christ exalting communication will be truthful communication. Let us examine our speech that it does not depart from reality. Whether our communication be in speech or writing, it must be true.

SPEAK WITH LOVE
Secondly, Christ exalting communication must be loving (). To communicate with love means to convey information in such a way that it reveals your desire for their welfare. One commentator states, “love seeks the highest good in the one loved” (Harold Hoehner, Ephesians: An Exegetical Commentary, Baker Academic, 2007, p. 565). This is not referring to a sentimental or superficial kind of “love.” Instead, this is a loyal and deliberate love without hypocrisy (). Don’t speak down to people or employ harsh tones. Communicate in such a way that you are seeking to ultimate good.

SPEAK WITH HOLINESS
The apostle Paul said to the Ephesians, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (). Communication that is Christ exalting will not neglect the principles found in Scripture regarding pure and sound speech. Corrupt, coarse, and crass speech comes in all sorts of forms. It can simply be a thoughtless or stupid approach in which someone doesn’t carefully consider what they are saying. Or it can come in the form of one using words or humour that dishonours God. Christ exalting communication does not make use of a form of speech that is marked by the things we were redeemed from (; ), but rather makes use of words that come from an individual who is a new creation with a message of hope.

Remember that communication is a gift from God. As the people of God it ought to be our desire and practice to convey Christ exalting communication. I will conclude with some observations of speech from an earlier post,

The book of Proverbs has much so say about our speech. Though we could look at many, consider three sample principles to remember: Speaking too much can lead to trouble (); gentle speech can diffuse anger whereas harsh speech can provoke anger () and think before you speak (). These principles provide practical wisdom in the use of our words.

1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
but those who act faithfully are his delight.

15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Ephesians 5:4

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.

13 If one gives an answer before he hears,
it is his folly and shame.