OK, we are looking at No 6 ‘The 6th grade level of talking’. I think this is about how we can learn skills to talk and share our views by developing really clear and uncomplicated levels of communication.
By intentionally talking at a 6th Grade level it is being suggested here that we will be understood better and this will help us excel in life. OK. Lets me look at this for a moment.unpack that a bit.
There is some important stuff here for us to consider but should it have made the top ten most important things we need to know in life? You decide.
The age of a 6th grade kid is 12, so effectively the advice is that we work on developing the way we communicate to be something simplified like a 12 year old.
You may be thinking ‘my 12 year old son says about 10 words a day, ‘when’s dinner, when’s tea, can I have more to eat.’ Maybe that’s the point! I feel like a light bulb has just gone on!
Ok, jokes aside, is this helpful? Yes, I actually think it is. I do think that any advice on how to communicate better that misses out the art of listening is like selling a pair of shoes with one shoe missing. But, working on simplifying how we communicate as Christian men (remember this is a blog series about how this may impact us as Christian men) really matters.
If we talk to mates about our faith do we slip into some theological exposition about Pauline theology and how we search for the historical Jesus? Maybe, and that’s ok too, but I would suggest that we probably don’t talk like that on a day to day basis.
We do however share stories, experiences, life, real moments, the fun stuff, the sad stuff and the scary stuff. Point being, we follow the greatest teller of parables (stories with a heavenly meaning) who ever was, Jesus.
Jesus used parables to connect people, he invited them into the picture to take on a role in the story, see themselves in there. Then the story led them to a truth, a heavenly truth and meaning. Amazing!
Now, we are not all masters in telling parables, but we have stories to tell and when they come out clearly the meaning and value, the person and character behind them comes through too.
Look at Paul in Athens, or Corinth or Lystra, he used stories and experience, he changed the level of communication but he also did a lot of listening to understand what was going on in the lives of those he interacted with!
Should you speak like a 12 year old? That’s up to you, but I would suggest we keep it simple, keep it real and let people see the real you because that’s when they see Jesus clearest.
Image Credit: Felix Russell-Saw