how to be a Christ-centered communicator-part 2
I’m keenly aware of the frequent breakdown in communication that happens in our daily lives. From misunderstanding what another driver is doing to misreading the intent of words or body language from a supervisor, parent or spouse. We are constantly dealing with the complicated reality of communicating well and effectively.
In part 1 of How To Be a Christ-Centered Communicator, I acknowledge that for a Christ-centered communicator, we aren’t without hope. Yes, communication is challenging but Scripture offers us guidance as to how to reflect the grace and love we have received through Christ to those we engage with.
In part 1, I suggested 3 ways to be a better Christ-centered communicator and I will conclude
One: Strive for Peace
Our interactions aren’t always free from conflict or agreement but that doesn’t mean our goal shouldn’t be peace.
Hebrews 12:14 instructs us to “make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness, no one will see the Lord.”
Peace is not always attainable but it should always be a priority. Often, we approach communication with the desire to be heard and prove a point or convey a message and none of those intents are wrong but they should not be more important than striving for peace.
Two: Listen well
Just because you heard the words spoken doesn’t mean you listened to the heart and meaning behind the words. When I was pursing a communication degree in college, I found it so interesting that an entire semester of Listening class was required to complete the degree.
Too often we think of communication as talking. Active listening is vital to effective communication and includes asking questions and focusing on the interest of the person you are engaging with.
Three: Use Gracious Words
Gracious words begin with a gracious heart. In part 1, I suggest starting every interaction with a heart check. Pride, unreported sin and bitterness don’t reflect grace.
Gracious words, however, have the the power to instruct, build up, persuade and heal.
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.Proverbs 16:24
Offering grace doesn’t mean we ignore truth but it does mean we start with a posture of grace–acknowledging we all struggle with sin and are in need of forgiveness. Grace honors the person you are communicating with by assuming the best before jumping to the conclusion that we already know intent or someone’s words or actions.
Communicating effectively as a Christ-follower is powerful. Being spirit-filled in our words, body language and posture honors God and can edify those we encounter. I’m grateful for Scripture that offers us insight and correction as to how to better communicate.
Effective communication is a powerful tool that can enrich our relationships and honor God. We can be grateful that the Bible gives us all the insight we need on how to communicate better, and in Christ, it is possible to achieve the heart change and fruit of the Spirit needed to make what we say and how we say it match our inner thought life.