What’s that you say?

A sage observed there are three messages conveyed in any conversation;

“what is said,
what you think I said,
and what I think I said!”

Want to communicate well?

First, use plain and honest speech. Jesus taught us, “Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.” (Matthew 5:37, The Message) In this day when lawyers are legion, as followers of the Lord of Truth, we must make integrity in communication our goal.

Second, remember that God is present! Scripture reminds us that there is another Listener in every conversation. His presence makes this prayer all the more important, “May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14, NLT) Our Lord knows not just what we say, but what we mean. That is both a comfort and a caution, isn’t it?

Third, remember that if you talk long enough you will reveal your heart!
“A good person produces good words from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil words from an evil heart. And I tell you this, that you must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak. The words you say now reflect your fate then; either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:35-37, NLT) Want to know who you really are? Listen to yourself.

James reminds us that our words are anything but ‘just words.’ They are a powerful force – for good or evil! With language rich in pictures, he says- “A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything-or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. … With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. … My friends, this can’t go on.” (James 3:3-10, The Message)

Are your words a source of life, refreshing others with encouragement, praising God, expressing faith?
Let me suggest a simple experiment just for today.
Be very aware of what you’re saying and pray prior to going into a conversation.
Then, don’t talk about others, except in a way that praises; don’t argue with others without listening intently. Ask more questions and make fewer declarations. Look for every opportunity to leave a compliment, a word of praise or thankfulness. Make it your aim this day that what you say will bless.

I can guarantee you that you will end the day more refreshed and joyful!

You are God in Heaven
and here am I on earth,
So I’ll let my words be few;
Jesus, I am so in love with You.

The simplest of all love songs
I want to bring to You,
So I’ll let my words be few;
Jesus, I am so in love with You.

And I’ll stand in awe of You,
Yes, I’ll stand in awe of You!
-and I’ll let my words be few-
Jesus, I am so in love with You.

Matt Redman
2000 Kingsway
CCLI License No. 810055

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