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Every week I am going to remind us of the same reality.
The goal of communication is different for men and women.
This is important to know in marriage, parenting, and friendship.
Men communicate to give and receive information.
Export and import.
Women communicate to connect.
Awareness of this reality is going to impact all of our relationships.
I want to give to us another example from Scripture of communication not going well.
Acts 12:12-16
Rhoda is clear, she is concise, she is truthful.
But no one believes her!
They think she is crazy!
Or that she has seen a ghost!
Here is what we learn from Rhoda.
Communication is not easy.
Because it is not easy we must engage in consistent and persistent work at communication.
We must always seek to improve in this area.
That is the purpose behind our study.
With that in mind, let’s get into our passage for tonight.
Go with me in your Bibles to Matthew 8:5-10.
Matthew 8:5-10
Today our topic is
Praise The Praiseworthy
Praising the praiseworthy is a three step process.
We are going to look at those steps tonight.
But first, a story.
While mom and dad were gone, the kids cleaned the entire house.
I mean, the entire house.
They washed all the dishes, scrubbed the counter-tops, vacuumed, swept, dusted, thoroughly washed the bathrooms and showers, they even wiped the cupboard doors and baseboards.
They were so excited.
Mom and Dad were going to love it.
They were going to be so grateful and so appreciative.
Eventually the time arrived, the car pulls into the garage, the door opens and in they come!
They look around, take everything in, and mom says “why didn’t you run the dishwasher?”
Instantly crushed, the children slowly go to their rooms.
The end result of this whole affair, is that they will never again try to surprise mom and dad.
This is the kind of scenario that brings us to our topic for tonight.
While we may recognize that the mom’s response in the story was not right, we need to understand what could have been done differently and how that would have impacted the outcome.
With all that in mind, we are going to follow the same pattern as last week.
Observe what Jesus did
There are three ways we want to copy Jesus in this passage.
Be Approachable
A centurion comes to Jesus.
That is significant.
Jew vs. Gentile.
Rabbi vs. Roman soldier.
From a human perspective, Jesus had every reason to just ignore the guy.
But He didn’t.
Jesus does not blow this man off because of who he is.
This teaches us an important lesson.
See past the exterior to the deeper need.
This is necessary if we are going to communicate well.
There is a second part to this.
See past the irritant to what’s going on inside.
Both of these are necessary.
Don’t focus on the exterior, and don’t be distracted by something that is irritating.
Look for the deeper need, look to what is going on inside.
Each of us has a deep need to be appreciated.
If you love language happens to be words of affirmation, this is even more important.
See past the exterior.
Here’s what that looks like.
The friend who won’t leave.
Growing up we had a friend who would stay at our house until dad would tell him it was time to go home.
Now, when something like that happens, we have two options.
We can get irritated, or, we can see the deeper need.
This particular friend felt very unsafe and unloved at home.
At our house, he was fed, talked to, and valued.
His need to feel safe manifested in an unwillingness to leave.
Try to see the deeper need.
The child who always resists.
You tell them to go left, they go right.
As an adult, you give them advice, and they do the opposite.
You feel like they are always pushing you away.
This behavior is highly frustrating and irritating.
There is something we must always remember.
There is a deeper need here.
They want to know that you will pursue them!
They are resisting to see if the love is still there even when they do not perform.
Will we love them when they are irritating?
The spouse that shuts down.
You want to talk about something and they walk away.
You try to connect or converse and they are not interested.
What is going on here?
Chances are, there is a deeper need that is not being met.
This centurion had a surface need, the healing of his servant, but it seems that he also had a deeper need to be recognized and praised by Jesus!
Our spouses need to know that when they talk with us, when they share with us, they will be safe.
Here’s what I mean.
When a spouse shares, listen.
Don’t problem solve.
Don’t belittle, minimize, or put them down.
We create safety when there is love and acceptance regardless of performance.
If we are going to be approachable, we must see past the exterior to the deeper need and we must see past the irritant to what’s going on inside.
Here’s the connection, we cannot praise the praiseworthy if we are not around them and do not know anything about them.
If we are always irritated with someone, we cannot see the positive qualities that they have!
To praise the praiseworthy, we must be approachable.
A relationship of connection and encouragement requires that we be open and approachable.
There is a second thing we want to copy from Jesus in this passage.
Pay Attention
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