The Biblical Perspective on Effective Communication
Happy Thursday to you!
A key component to any lasting relationship is quality communication. Many of us are cognizant of this truth. Nevertheless, it seems that the more articles we read or the more seminars we attend, it never gets easier. We hate to admit it, but... communicating effectively is hard work! To begin with, there’s the issue of pride and ego. I want to be understood. I want to have my own way. Next, there’s the fear aspect. How will the other person respond to what I have to say? Will his or her reaction be favorable? Will my words create unwanted tension? Did I express my thoughts clearly? In addition, we have to consider our upbringing and how we learned to engage others. Were we taught to speak our minds no matter the cost? Were we taught to keep our opinions to ourselves? All of these factors (and I’m certain there’s more) make it difficult to express one’s thoughts and receive, with openness, another person’s perspective.
In your home, I am sure you have many magazines, audio, or videos on this subject matter. You may feel like if you've read one article, you've (in essence) read them all. In spite of this, I want to present the biblical perspective on communication. Within the holy scriptures, there is a vast wealth of wisdom. Consequently, it is impossible to cover it all in within today's post. In fact, you may be familiar with many of the verses. However, it never hurts to examine yourself and do the dirty work of rereading, studying, and reapplying what you learn. I’m in this boat with you. So let’s remember: there’s shore ahead so we must sail onward.
Tip #1 Don’t be a nag (men and women)!
Proverbs 27:15 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.
Proverbs 17:1 Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.
Proverbs 15:17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
Proverbs 21:19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
Proverbs 26:21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
Tip #2 Say what you mean but watch what you say.
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Proverbs 31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Ephesians 4:15-16 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Tip #3 Your words can engender healing or exacerbate wounds.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
James 3:8-13 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
Tip #4 Honesty is always the best policy.
Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.
Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.
Matthew 5:36-37 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
Ephesians 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
Tip #5 Listen with open ears and a closed mouth.
Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
Proverbs 2:2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
Proverbs 11:12 He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.
Proverbs 14:29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
Ecclesiastes 9:17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.
Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
1 Thessalonians 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
Proverbs 17:28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding
What are your tips for maintaining effective communication in your relationships? What are your strengths when it comes to communication? What are your weaknesses?