God has spoken by His Son (Hebrews 1:3). There are no people more concerned about communicating well than the people of the Good News of Jesus Christ. God is the best communicator, and his best communication was done in person. So too, we seek to communicate well with one another in the body of Christ. This next series of blog posts is designed to help us to think about why and how we communicate. Of course, the most important reason that informs how we communicate is that God has communicated with us, and our supreme aim here is to glorify God by communicating in ways that honor and imitate him. We should humbly confess when we have not communicated well. The burden for communicating well should fall on everyone and not just those who have information to share. If you don’t know something that you think you ought to, please ask. We’re in this together. The body of Christ, like any good marriage is dependent on everyone seeking everyone else out to share information or ask when you don’t know. Something that we don’t always communicate is what our expectations are in those various forms of communication. Sometimes we need to talk about talking, and that’s what this blog series is seeking to do.
To begin with, we need to recognize that there are some methods that are better than others, and we should always be striving to have the best form of communication whenever possible. The number one best form of communication is the Word of God. That means that in everything we do, we should “let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt.” (Colossians 4:6) The grace that God has communicated to us is the salt of the gospel. The gospel should be woven throughout everything we say. Gracious forgiveness and forbearance are our primary attitudes. God’s truth should be formative and explicit when we speak. Every opportunity you have to interact with someone else is not given to you so that you can voice your opinion, but so that you might direct someone to what God thinks about a given situation. No other words are as powerful (Romans 1:16), effective (Philemon 1:6) and profitable (2 Timothy 3:16).
So, in whatever you say, even if you’re not explicitly referencing a passage of scripture, let’s evaluate how what we’re saying is informed by and formed by the Word of God. The first thing we do in speaking is to evaluate our words. Ask yourself, “Is this what God would want me to say, and is this the way that God would want me to say it?” When in doubt, seek out an elder or a wise counselor in your life and let them give you guidance in how or what you should say, because it doesn’t hurt to talk about talking before you open your mouth. After all, (Prov. 13:3) “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”