Our conversations and interactions with others will not be successful and godly if we’re unable to communicate in a godly way. The Bible says: ‘Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.’ Our words should be building others up rather than breaking them down (take a look at 1 Thessalonians 5:11). We should be speaking out of love, not frustration. That doesn’t mean we avoid addressing conflicts and the things that hurt us. But we should be addressing these things in love (have a read of Ephesians 4:15). When we’re communicating with non-Christians, we need to make sure that we’re showing them God’s love and that we’re ready to share our faith with them. The Bible says: ‘Always be prepared to give an answer…for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect’ (1 Peter 3:15 NIV). It’s not always about the words we use; we also need to be careful of the tone we’re using, our body language, the time we choose to speak, and the method of our communication. Before speaking to someone, we need to ask ourselves these questions: 1) Will what I say be ‘good and helpful’? 2) Should this conversation happen face to face rather than over the phone or text? 3) Am I calm and thinking rationally? 4) Am I prepared to listen to what the other person has to say in return, and respond in a gentle way? 5) Is this an appropriate time and place to have this conversation? Communicating well is something we can practiseand grow in. We’ll all make mistakes, but if we follow God’s advice, we’ll be able to communicate much more effectively.
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