Understanding vital tools that enhance personal communication
Never in the history of humanity have we had such a profound ability to communicate with others. From the palm of our hand, we can see and speak with individuals and groups all over the world at anytime of day or night. We can message, share and “like” in countless ways. Yet, never in the history of humanity have we been so disassociated, disconnected and dysfunctional. We are more polarized, more self-centered and more alone than we ever have been. So, how did we get here and how do we fix it? How do we find our way through this technology-driven world and actually connect with others? As Christians especially, what do we need to do to be connected with those around us in a way that can bless and encourage them?
What does "communicate" mean biblically?
Let’s begin by figuring out what it means to communicate. In the New Testament, the words translated into our English "communicate" are very different than we might expect. Their meaning has to do with much more than talking and much more than being able to make a point. They have to do with giving, usually in relation to supporting others who are in a disadvantaged state. When the brotherhood stepped up and supported those in need, it is spoken of as a sacrifice that is pleasing to God (Hebrews 13:16). We therefore see Christian communication as actively reaching out into another’s life by words or actions to build them up.
How did Jesus communicate?
To learn to be effective communicators, we first look to the example of Jesus. What we find is a clear “how to” template to model our communication efforts. Jesus knew how to tell stories, ask questions and was able to reach out and heal diseases by God’s power. He also communicated through words and actions with laser-like focus. While we cannot do the miracles he did, we can communicate with the intention of being a positive and healing presence in the lives of others.
While Jesus is our best example, it is important to realize that strong communication is a very customizable process. Because we are all different in relation to our temperaments, experiences and perspectives, we need to be flexible in our approach. The Apostle Paul was a striking model of this flexible approach. While out preaching the gospel in Athens he came across a harsh reality. As he responded, he showed us how to take what could have been a volatile experience and turn it into a positive one. What are the details?
Learn the Communication Effectiveness Traits
Check out our August 23, 2021, podcast, “How Can I Effectively Reach Out and Connect with Others?” for more. We introduce several Communication Effectiveness Traits that can seriously help us along the way. We outline Paul’s mastery of many of these traits as he dealt with what could have been a hostile audience. Effective communication is a result of many important tools being used together. Join us and fill your toolbox with these vital instruments. Everyone benefits!
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