Learning How To Talk

“The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips” – Proverbs 16:23

People often hide what they are trying to say behind a wall of words. Their words do not coincide with their feelings. Gerald Nierenberg, a New York lawyer, wrote a book about the problem called Meta-Talk: Guide to Hidden Meanings in Conversation. He gives 350 examples of verbal distortion.

A communication consultant says many people fear that honesty will cost them friendships, love or respect. So they either keep their lips zipped or say something other than what they mean. Lack of self-worth and fear of hurting someones feelings also impede honest communication.

Christians are not immune to this problem. Trying to be both loving and truthful can be extremely difficult. The Bible, however, provides a balanced approach to this dilemma. Being honest with people may hurt, but if we speak kindly and with compassion we give them the support they need to face reality.

The third chapter of James indicates that divine wisdom can help us talk effectively, for it is ‘first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (v. 17). Believers who let these characteristics govern their speech will not have to hide behind a wall of words. – MRD II

How easy it is to use many words,
And yet be unwise in the things you say;
So willingly yield your speech to the Lord,
And hearts will be blest by you every day – DJD


Read: James 3

Taken from Our Daily Bread.