Pastor's Corner: Communication is key
Last updated 12/9/2022 at 5:36am | View PDF
There is a key that will open many doors, like opening the way to new friends, a better marriage, helping your children and better work relationships. This is a key that everyone has, but it works better or worse for different people. Communication is the key. Everyone knows that life is ongoing communication. What is overlooked is that good and God-honoring communication is a skill that needs to be developed according to Biblical wisdom. The difference between wise righteous speech and wicked foolish speech are as night and day (Proverbs 10:31-32). The goal of Christian speech is to be wise with our words so that we communicate clearly, truthfully and edifyingly, representing the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
Speak truth. Honesty is still at a premium in our society, vital in our close relationships, and a direct command in the Bible (Col 3:9). Honesty will always be the best policy as we seek to use our words in ways that are pleasing to God (Proverbs 12:22). Nothing but dire consequences and heartache come from telling a lie (Proverbs 13:5). The righteous avoid, at all costs, speaking falsehoods. If you instantly want your close relationships to improve, start by being a truth teller; even when it is hard, speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15).
Speak to edify. The destructive power of speech is often on display in society as words are used as weapons to hurt and to tear others down (Proverbs 12:18). Christians aim to speak in a way that will build others up, not to tear anyone down; especially brothers and sisters in Christ, as our words can help build their faith and advance their maturity in the Lord (Ephesians 4:13-16, 29; 1 Thessalonians5:11).
[BEGIN BOLD]Speak to engage.[END BOLD] Communication involves active involvement. One should listen first, determine what is appropriate to say, and then speak it persuasively for a quality conversation (Proverbs 18:13; James 1:19b). Words spoken in unengaging ways will have little impact (Ecclesiastes 6:11; 10:14). Wise speech means delivering our words in winsome ways. We want what we are saying to be heard, accepted, and to have a positive edifying impact. Our aim is edifying persuasion, telling the truth, and presenting our point with the well-being of the other person in mind (Proverbs 15:2; 16:23-24; 25:11).
Restrain speech. Restraint in speech is not something our culture or society values today, and this has been detrimental to all. Speech can be inappropriate, vulgar, demeaning, unhelpful, unnecessary, and unclear. The practice of saying every word, thought, feeling, or new tidbit of news that pops into one’s head will lead to ruin (Proverbs 10:19; 13:3; 17:28). Since we are held accountable by God for every word we speak, we must focus on quality over quantity, applying great care to our word selection (Matthew 12:36; James 3). There is much wisdom in stating your point, not saying too much and moving on. Christians are wise in not multiplying words, but rather choosing the best words so that others will value what you say at a premium (Proverbs 10:20; 15:23).
Share wisdom. The most important words we can speak into the lives of others are truthful, wise, and gracious words. We continue to increase our storehouse of wisdom by regularly studying God’s Word (Psalms 1:2; Proverbs 10:13-14). Let us be such Christians, wise in every word that we chose to speak (Psalms 19:14).