I’ve been sitting with this for a couple weeks, now, and WOW! The LORD has given me a LOT to experience and observe!! In fact, one example is a statement, which was directly addressed to me! I’ve been known to tell my family and some friends, “If I’m doing that, I wanna know!” Well, someone whom I love deeply took me up on that and told me the truth in love. I did/do want to know…but it doesn’t take the sting out of being confronted with the truth that I hurt people and need to change!
Interrupting…That’s what I was called out on. Ugh!!
Years ago, I was a Technical Recruiter. My job was to find, recruit, screen, and submit the best qualified candidates for technology positions our clients had open, walk those chosen through the interview and hiring processes, and maintain contact with those who landed jobs throughout their employment. In order to execute the recruiting process as quickly as possible, I learned some not-so-great communication skills in order to get certain questions answered speedily. If someone got a bit long-winded, I learned to interject a question to efficiently lead them through the screening questions in order to see if they were right for the job. I was searching and listening for the answers I needed out of the conversation. It’s amazing how a little over three years of “listening” this way changed me for years to come! It socked me in the gut to learn that, 15 years later, I was still doing it…interjecting, finishing people’s sentences to keep things moving, and leading along the conversation to answer what I wanted or needed to hear. Sigh.
The LORD used this loving confrontation to speak to me about many voids in positive communication that we, probably, all have experienced at one point or another…and maybe even DO ourselves! Have you experienced or observed any of the following situations this week…or maybe even done a handful?
Different sayings related to positive communication have been spoken much, but have they been heard?…Listen first; then speak!… We have two ears and one mouth for a reason!
Someone Whom you love deeply (and Who loves YOU deeply enough to say it–God Himself) also has some things to say about communication!!
“When there are many words, transgression and offense [against individuals] are unavoidable, but he who controls his lips and keeps thoughtful silence is wise.”Proverbs 10:19 AB
“The one who guards his mouth [thinking before he speaks] protects his life; the one who opens his lips wide [and chatters without thinking] comes to ruin.”Proverbs 13:3 BSB
“A wise person’s heart controls his speech, and what he says helps others learn.”Proverbs 16:23 GWT
“With his mouth, the godless man destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge and discernment the righteous will be rescued.”Proverbs 11:9 AB
“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”Proverbs 12:18 ESV
“A soft and gentle and thoughtful answer turns away wrath, but harsh and painful and careless words stir up anger.”Proverbs 15:1 AB
“The tongue of the wise makes knowledge attractive, but the mouth of fools blurts out foolishness.”Proverbs 15:2 CSB
“The heart of the righteous weighs answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes out evil.”Proverbs 15:28 NHEB
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding but only in disclosing what is on his mind.”Proverbs 18:2 NETB
“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.”Proverbs 29:11 ESV
“Whoever gives an answer before he listens is stupid and shameful.”Proverbs 18:13 GWT
“Do you see someone who speaks too soon? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”Proverbs 29:20 CSB
“The words of a gossip are swallowed greedily, and they go down into a person’s innermost being.”Proverbs 18:8 GWT
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.”Proverbs 18:21 AB
“If a person thinks that he is religious but can’t control his tongue, he is fooling himself. That person’s religion is worthless.”James 1:26 GWT
“But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes ‘ or ‘No, no;’ anything beyond these is of evil.”Matthew 5:37 NASB 1995
“Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up the one in need and bringing grace to those who listen.”Ephesians 4:29 BSB
“Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you].”Colossians 4:6 AB
“You know this, my dearly-loved brethren. But let every one be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to be angry.“James 1:19 WNT
“My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.”1 John 3:18 GNT
As you engage in conversations today, think about what you’re communicating through your words, tone, facial expressions, body language, and listening (or lack thereof):