Writing is a form of communication. In fact, it is my favorite form to use. Lately, however, God has been using me to speak the words instead of writing the words. I don’t know if I like that…but I am willing.
As I have found myself in more and more situations that require me to speak up, I have discovered that I need to work on my communication skills. Writing enables you to take as long as you need to properly say what you need to communicate to another. Face-to-face communication doesn’t allow the luxury of time.
In writing, I try to communicate change. I encourage it. I write of my own experiences and issues in the area of change. In speaking, I do the same, but the feelings that overwhelm me while speaking are not present during the act of writing. There is great fear in communicating the need for change through speech.
Here is the deal, though. God calls us to communicate the need for change to others. We are called to share the gospel – the biggest need for change in any life is to turn from our sin and towards Christ. We are called to be ambassadors of His truth. We are called to hold our fellow believers accountable to His word. So, how do we do that?
First, leaders take the first step. If you consider yourself a leader, if others consider you a leader, or if you want to be a leader, you must be willing to communicate with others. And, you want to do it successfully, with power, knowledge, and love. In order to do that, you have to make communication a priority in your life. Never stop trying to communicate with others in ways that encourage change. At times it will be rejected, but we must never stop seeking to benefit others through words that push them to be more like Christ.
Second, you have to be open to others. You have to not only speak, but be willing to listen. Communication, by its very nature, is a two-way street. You can’t always be speaking, and you can’t always only be listening. When communication is only one way, rest assured the other side has shut the line down. The communication has become frozen. The pathway to change will be so clogged with unsaid words, harsh feelings, and bitterness nothing will get through the ice.
Finally, there has to be a receptive atmosphere for communication to occur. I truly believe the reason more communication does not occur is because the atmosphere for communication screams, “your words are not welcome!” Even if those words are never spoken, people will know whether they are welcome to approach you with concerns or not. Your reputation will go before you. If you have met previous communications with anger, rage, accusation, and blame, don’t be surprised when the communication towards you ceases.
Look, no one is perfect. We will all have moments of failure in communication. If we are committed to being agents of change, and encouraging spiritual change in others, we have to keep communicating. We have to keep the lines open. We have to listen as much as we speak. And we have to be aware of our own attitudes towards others words that are directed at us that we disagree with or find difficult to accept.
There is so much more to say here, but blogs are meant for limited amounts of words. I encourage you to read more about this topic! A book I recommend is Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul David Tripp. Chapter 11 specifically (The Goals of Speaking the Truth in Love) has a lot of insight into the topic of speaking change into other’s lives.
Rest assured, God wants us to be communicators. In order to do it well, we have to work at it and keep on communicating. The world needs communicators who will speak truth in love and boldness. The time is now.