The article very gently challenged me to consider how I communicate and of the need to communicate with care and circumspection.
The observation that distressed people frequently need only limited information is so correct. I know from my own experience that my emotions and my mind/mental processes very quickly go on overload and I need to receive information and communications [verbal or written] in small manageable chunks to prevent that.
I think the bottom line for me when it comes to communication includes the following questions.
Am I communicating the love and compassion of Jesus?
I am hearing the love and compassion of Jesus?
Are my words more about judging and criticising?
Are my words likely to bring life and lift my reader/hearer or will they pull them down?
Am I feeling encouraged or discouraged by what I’m hearing/reading?
The answers to those questions inform my communication and also how I process what I’m hearing or reading from others.
‘Mind Your Mouth’ reminds me of the following scripture – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]” Proverbs 18:21
Mind Your Mouth!
“The upright honourable, intrinsically good man out of the good treasure stored in his heart produces what is upright, honourable and intrinsically good, and the evil man out of the evil storehouse brings forth that which is depraved, wicked and intrinsically evil; for out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart his mouth speaks” [Luke 6:45 Amplified]
Let's answer some communication questions:
1) What is good communication? It's honest, positively intended, two-way sharing. It isn't 'dumping' or giving someone a piece of your mind! The first law of verbal ecology is: garbage is not biodegradable! It recycles, festering with time.
"The words of a talebearer are as wounds... they go down into the innermost parts of the belly" [Proverbs 18:8]
"The words of a whisperer or talebearer… go down into the innermost parts of the body" [Proverbs 18: 8 Amplified]
Many a word accompanies the hearer to their grave.
2) What should we communicate? The truth.
'Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are HIS delight' [Proverbs 12:22 NKJV]
“Lying lips are extremely disgusting and hateful to the Lord, but they who deal faithfully are HIS delight” [Proverbs 12: 22 Amplified]
But truth can be given like the blow of a sledgehammer or like a soothing hand of friendship.
“The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things” [Proverbs 15:28 NAS]
“The mind of the uncompromisingly righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.” [Proverbs 15:28 Amplified]
It should be communicated after advance thought for its impact.
3) How much should we communicate? As much as God's Word, love and wisdom dictate.
“A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards” [Proverbs 29:11]
“A self-confident fool utters all his anger, but a wise man holds it back and stills it” [Proverbs 29: 11 Amplified]
Children and distressed people frequently need only limited information.
4) How should we communicate? 'How' can be as important as 'what,' so speak with consideration for the hearer's feelings.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” [Proverbs 15:1 NAS]
“A SOFT answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger” [Proverbs 15: 1 Amplified]
The hearer's response is conditioned by your words.
5) Check your timing; it's vital!
“It is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time” [Proverbs 15:23 NLT]
“A man has joy in making an apt answer, and a word spoken at the right moment - -how good it is!” [Proverbs 15: 23 Amplified]
If you're not certain about your timing, wait and pray for wisdom!
Taken from UCB Word for Today