The Impact of Words
Have you ever paused to evaluate the impact of how you communicate? A thoughtful, encouraging word, an empathetic comment, a compassionate glance . . . or a careless comment, a rude remark, a sarcastic smirk . . . what do they really communicate to those closest to you?
Your words have the potential of bringing life or death to the heart of another. Your words, along with underlying attitudes, will either build others up or tear them down, strengthen them in the Lord or weaken their faith.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. —Proverbs 18:21
The method of communication most pleasing to God is one that reflects Jesus Christ in all you say and do. That means allowing Jesus to be Lord of your life . . . allowing Him to express his words and actions through you.
Let the message of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom through psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. —Colossians 3:16-17
Guidelines for Effective Communication
Good relational communication has these three basic characteristics.
WARMTH—conveying acceptance and courtesy.
Warmth says, “You are important to me. You are valuable to me. I enjoy and respect you. I will not try to make you a carbon copy of myself, but rather I desire that you fully realize your own potential.”
GENUINENESS—having no hidden agendas. Genuineness says, “I am not trying to manipulate you, nor am I trying to bend you to my will. I want to make it safe for you to communicate with me and safe for you to trust that I will be truthful with you.”
EMPATHY—putting one’s self in the other’s circumstances—“walking in another’s shoes” Empathy says, “While I may not know exactly what you are going through, I’m trying to understand the emotions you feel and the challenges you face. I will seek to understand you, rather than trying to make you understand me.”
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. —Proverbs 25:11
Author, singer, and speaker June Hunt is the founder of Hope for the Heart, a ministry that offers biblical hope and practical help in more than 60 countries on 6 continents. June has written numerous books and can be heard on two popular radio programs: Hope for the Heart is an award-winning half-hour teaching broadcast; Hope in the Night is June’s live two-hour call-in counseling program. Whether writing, speaking or singing, June is dedicated to presenting God’s truth for today’s problems.