Seeking to improve the way we communicate with one another because meaningful conversations matter.
- Speech is a gift with a God-given purpose.
- God provides the standard for evaluating our words.
- Edifying conversations pursue the truth.
- God's words are edifying.
- Destructive words are sometimes edifying.
- A civil conversation is a selfless one.
- We overcome our defensiveness by grounding every conversation in devotion and prayer.
- Conversations about others should be had sparingly and with their best interests in mind.
- Not every conversation is good. We should be discerning, not entering into every conversational opportunity.
- Romans 12:14-21 provides instruction on how to have a meaning ful, face to face conversation.
- Asking good questions is key to having a meaningful conversation.
- Allow people to share what they believe.
- A good conversation is difficult work, you have to be in the right frame of mind to have one.
- Respond gently.
- When the times comes for you to speak, do not assert yourself.
- When you make an assertion, know what you are talking about.
- Opinions aren't worth asserting.
- Allow others to test your assertions without getting upset.
Prayer on the use of our words:
"May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." -Psalm 49:3
"Guard our lips, O Lord, and govern our unruly tongue so that our words about our neighbors are not tainted with falsehood, betrayal, or slander, which would damage their reputation. Instead, give us the wisdom to speak well of our neighbors, defend them, and explain their circumstances and actions in the kindest way; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen."- Luther's Small Catechism with explanation, 2017 edition, page 114
Lord, focus my attention. Narrow the sphere of my ambition. Show me my neighbors and set my heart upon visiting them with Your Word. Amen.