Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be doing a series of posts on a “Biblical View of Communication.” We live in one of the most communication-heavy periods in the history of mankind. You can communicate with people in more ways today than ever before. From email to texting, to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or the old reliable methods of a snail-mail letter or a phone call. With all of these communication channels available to us, it is amazing how we still struggle with communication. And this is the real issue with communication, and what we’ll be looking at over the next few weeks: Communication is more about the heart than the words.
Not that words are important, because they are. But ultimately the right words with the wrong heart will cause more harm than good.
Here are the four angles we’ll be looking at with communication:
- With Love
- With Truth
- With Wisdom
- Toward Redemption
To start things off, communicating in love seems like a given. Of course we should communicate in love, but the reality is that this is easier said than done. As a leader, it is often easier to simply speak the truth, but without love. And while truth is important, love must precede truth.
As a follower of Christ, the Apostle Paul writes in Colossians 3 that we are to “put on love.” Essentially that everything we do and say should be covered in love. This sounds good in theory, but when the rubber hits the road, this gets much more difficult. When you’re frustrated, when things don’t go your way, when obstacles are mounting and your fuse is short, then what?
Remember, Communication is more about the heart than the words. As a leader, if you find yourself having trouble speaking in love. Or if others are brave enough to point this out to you, it’s not simply the words you are speaking, but ultimately the heart behind the words.
Jesus shares in Luke 6 this powerful truth: “…the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” If your words aren’t covered in love, what is your heart full of?
As a leader, and especially a leader in the church, it is crucial that your communication be ‘in love.’ As Paul writes, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (1 Cor. 13:1) Our words must be clothed in love.
So practically speaking, how does this apply to leaders and followers of Christ? Ask yourselves these questions before you speak, send that email, or fire off that comment on Facebook:
- What is the motive (or heart) behind these words?
- Do my words reflect the love of Christ or the anger of man?
- Is love a clear and visible component of the words I am about to share?