The Message translation of Proverbs 18:21 states matter directly that “words kill, words give life; they’re either poison, or fruit – you choose“. In fact, there are numerous passages in the Bible highlighting the impact, importance and impediments our words can create. Thankfully, the Spirit transforms our heart so that the things that come out of our mouth can also be transformational and a proper reflection of the Holy within. We then receive further guidance and direction in God’s word to help us construct our conversations in the most impactful way:
Illustrate: Jesus was the best communicator to ever live, and He provides us with several insights to learn from. For example, we know He strategically used parables and stories to help illustrate His points (Mark 4:33). Therefore, so can we. When we are speaking, or in conversation, it helps those we’re engaging with when we use examples, either real life, or descriptive to illustrate and emphasize our key points.
Instruct: When we speak, are we simply rambling, or paying careful attention to the impact we desire to make (Ephesians 4:29). We risk numbing those we speak with when our communication is weak, wandering, or whiny. Therefore, let us look to speak with clarity and with content. Or as one communicator once shared – “may our talks be as brief, blunt and brilliant as possible“.
Intercede: When we engage in conversations and collaborations, are we seeking to advantage ourselves solely, or is there benefit for others (1 Timothy 2:1)? Many times, we may be tempted to fight for our own causes, but is the greater good being served this way? As Jesus always demonstrated, He was seeking the best interests of others – not soley His own. If so, He would have kept quiet, rather than sacrificing it all for the sake of saving souls.
Application: “Witness Stand” – 2 Timothy 2:24
Whenever we speak, we have an opportunity to take a stand for truth and serve as a witness for Christ and His agenda, over our own. This doesn’t mean we don’t take time to laugh and enjoy casual conversation. However, it does mean we should be generous with encouraging and constructive words that are void of gossip and complaining. For what and how we communicate can serve as a powerful testimonies in a world of ridicule, propaganda and opposition.