Thank you for sharing this Coffee Hour with me as I write from my heart to yours about this subject of communication that literally thousands of books have been written about! Grab your coffee and your red Strand of Faith and let’s go tie the final knots in this relevant subject.
Proverbs 15:2 says that the tongue of the wise uses knowledge, in other words, we step back emotionally and mentally before jumping forward with a reaction. This is the difference between responding vs. reacting. In fact, we are supposed to take this time to step back and sort of season our talk with some salt … salt ads flavor, the flavor of kindness, gentleness, peace, patience … and self-control! The ESV of the Bible translates Colossians 4:6 this way: “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Well, this tells us that each person, each situation, each disagreement needs a different response, but no matter what the response, we’ve got to step back before we jump forward. See this is the biggest challenge when someone has challenged us, right? How can we pour salt on our words so as to not inflict wounds or add to an already-existing wound? The first and only thing that comes to mind is to do a heart check! I remember an angry husband coming to me one time, sharing all kinds of ugly stuff about his wife. He demanded that I talk with the Pastor of our church and the Associate Pastor, and fill them both in on all her dirty laundry. He demanded a whole host of other things, but … anyway, after reading through his email twice, and some time in prayer, I responded with a question: What’s your motive? If your motive is for restoration, to help in the healing process, that’s great; but if your motive is to bring her harm, to hurt her because she’s hurt you, then you will have to take that up with God because I cannot participate in that. So check your heart, your motive.”
He didn’t respond!
In times of conflict, sometimes we must say nothing at all but let our actions speak for us. In 1st Peter 3:1, Peter tells us that many can be won over not by our words but by our conduct. This isn’t for just the spouse married to an unbeliever, although it’s a great piece of wisdom for those in that situation. There’s no point in climbing the mountain of change, getting to the top or peak of a change and shouting, “I’ve changed; can’t you see I’ve changed?” We must allow our lives to be the voice.
Can you think of someone who has influenced you with their lives, not just their words? Paul is gifted in this area of communication and points out this truth: how would we even have faith without the knowledge imparted through good communication? We take that leap of faith because someone communicates to us in a way that grabs at our heart and squeezes it and causes us to recognize the necessity of the reality of Christ. Do you see what I mean?
Have you ever been listening to a message from a pastor, or someone on the radio, or even someone face to face and wondered, how in the world did they get such a clear picture of my dirty laundry? Do they have a camera or X-ray vision that goes straight to my mind and down to my heart?
So who or what communicated to you your need for a Savior?
That’s almost a wrap on this sacrifice! Next week, we will cover the final part in this sacrifice of communication, because without it, we would most certainly continuously fail in this area of communication and in this sacrificial journey!