Living on Mission – Gentle Communication
Looking for a good way to tell if you’re really and truly gentle like Jesus? Check what’s coming out of your mouth. “But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart...” (Matthew 15:18) I don’t know about you, but this little test lets me know that I still have some work to be done in this area.
Our communication is important because through it people come to know our thoughts and intentions. We all know that person who, like Eeyore, is always talking about what is wrong instead of what is great. After we’ve known them for years, we can pretty safely guess their thoughts on a variety of topics because we know what’s in their heart. (The election: doesn’t matter who wins, they’ll be awful. The weather: it will be too hot or too cold or the rain/snow is on the way to chase away the sun. God: if there is a God, He obviously doesn’t care to help people.) We also all know that person who, like Pollyanna, can always find the good in any situation. (Broken ankle: you will be able to catch up on your reading! Car needs repair: healthy exercise or time riding with friends! God: He always gives us what we need!)
What comes out of our mouth matters to the people around us because it tells them what is in our heart.
“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Colossians 4:5,6)
“A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
keeping watch on the evil and the good.
A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:1-4)
We can build up or tear down with our words. We can care for people or cause them pain. We can love them or we can be silent. Let’s do away with words that harm people. Let’s allow the gentle love and compassion to flow from our heart to our lips.
Let’s practice Living on Mission through Gentle Communication.