Communication should be good, clear and simple

Published 5:06 am Sunday, March 12, 2023

Good, clear communication is hard to find these days.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that we are living in an age of technology like we’ve never known before.
We can chat with someone around the world on our computers or cell phones.
Thanks to satellite technology, television and radio signals are bringing up-to-the-minute news coverage and entertainment into some of the remotest places on earth.
But with all of this I can’t help but wonder – are we really communicating?
When national corporations go international, they sometimes experience weird language problems.
For example, when Coca-Cola started selling in China, the name was rendered as Ke-kou-ke-la.
After thousands of signs had already been printed, they learned that the phrase means “bite the wax tadpole” or, depending on the dialect, “female horse stuffed with wax.”
In Taiwan, the translation of the Pepsi slogan: “Come Alive with the Pepsi Generation” came out as “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead.”
Also, in Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan “finger-lickin” good” came out as “eat your fingers off.”
When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, they were apparently unaware that “no va” in Spanish means: “it won’t go.”
So, they renamed the car there “Caribe.”
I worked in radio for seventeen years and during that time I heard a lot of information but not a lot of communication.
The reason is because communication involves at least two people talking to each other and understanding what is being said.
If the recipient isn’t listening or doesn’t understand what the other person is saying then there is no communication.
It happens in churches, families, and marriages.
In fact, 80 percent of troubled marriages in America list their #1 problem as the inability to communicate. I’m reminded of the story of a husband and wife who had been married for several years.
One day the wife complained to her husband, “The only time you told me you loved me was on the day we were married.”
The husband replied, “I meant it when I said it.
And if anything changes I’ll let you know!”
If Christians are going to impact their world with the Gospel they must also be willing to stop talking and start communicating.
Many times, we use terms like “sanctification,” “justification” or “born again” – which are biblically solid – but could mean any number of things to someone outside of the church.
So, when we share our faith, let’s be careful to use the most basic terms possible so the message will come through loud and clear.
A perfect example of the clear Gospel message is found in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes on Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.

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