One of the most classic lines in movie history is "What We Got Here Is...Failure to Communicate" from 'Cool Hand Luke'. As I was thinking about what to write for this article this quote came to mind. It seems communication (or lack thereof) is the root of many problems we have with other people. Many arguments are based on misunderstandings or on unstated expectations. Christians should be a people of unity and love. Too often we let miscommunication lead to arguments, which in turn lead to divisions and hate. To quote the words of James in James 3:10, "Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so"
So what can we do? We need to learn how to communicate better. There are 1,000s of articles online about communicating better. I thought, why not add one more. Here are 4 biblical ways to communicate better.
4 Ways to Communicate Better
1. Speak in Love (Eph. 4:15)
When we communicate with others we must include love. As Christians we are to be a mirror image of Christ (including the very nature of Christ, love). When we speak to one another in love our communication is better received and remembered. Love, "...binds everything together in perfect harmony" (Col. 3:14).
2. Build one another up (Romans 14:19; Eph. 4:29; 1 Thess. 5:11).
Paul reminds us that our speech (and actions) should build one another up. In Ephesians 4:29 he writes, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." If you want to improve your communication skills, learn to build up other people. As a result, others will listen more closely to you, they will be encouraged, and you will exemplify Christ.
3. When a problem arises, go to the individual(s) with whom you have a problem (Matthew 5:23-24, 18:15).
When we have a problem with another individual, we should NOT talk about the problem or them behind their back. Jesus commanded us to go to them and confront them. We should do so in a way that communicates love and edification.
4. Forgive your Christian brother or sister (Col. 3:13; Eph. 4:32).
Forgiveness is a huge part in communication. How? Many arguments start due to a lack of communication and lack of forgiveness. If we could learn to overlook the mistakes and sins of others and forgive them, we would live more at peace with one another.
I hope my brief summaries didn't "put you off". These 4 ways are much more difficult that explained, but once implemented into our lives will help our communication with others.
May God bless you in all you do and may you give glory to God the Father!
As always remember 1 Peter 2:21: “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.”
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