When my son was a preschooler, we gave him a Lite-Brite. You know, the toy with the little plastic pegs that light up? One day he decided to stick one of those little pegs up his nose, and it got stuck! Panic set in almost instantly when he realized that mommy couldn’t get it out. The more his dad and I struggled, the more upset he became. We decided to take him to the E.R.!
Luckily, Grandma Ruth got there just as we were leaving. With her kind sweet gentle demeanor, she put my little boy on her lap and comforted him. Once he was calm, she gained his trust, and he let her have a look at the situation. She pulled it right out!
Can you see the difference in approach here? Grandma may have been freaking out on the inside—but on the outside, she exuded calm, trust, and goodwill. BUILD TRUST: communicate in a way that builds value. Grandma’s actions spoke “I am FOR YOU … for US.”
My children are all grown now. They are all adults in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. They’re individuals with differing values and opinions on a lot of things. They don’t always agree!
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
I think God is asking us to communicate according to others’ needs. During our interactions with others, we should listen empathetically and mirror their words to gain a better understanding. This process builds trust during the interaction. When we speak encouraging words it shows that we value the other person in the relationships.
Words are powerful! Proverbs 18:21 states, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” In our fast paced lives, our relationships would benefit from slowing down, taking a breath, and selecting our words wisely, so that they are life giving.
Are you an active listener? Do you respond with life-giving words? Have you looked into the Family Faith Plan?
Text Faithplan to 419-419-0707 and take a step toward building Christ-centered, life-giving relationships. Pray, and ask God whose life he is calling you to invest in.
Father, first I want to thank you for the people at CedarCreek Church who invest in the lives of those who seek to know you. I want to know you more and reflect on you better. Fill my heart with you until it overflows out of my mouth and gives life to the words on my tongue. Help me to build trust in my relationships. Put actions in my hands and my feet that reflect you. Let there always be less of me and more of you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Julie Estep. Julie loves her husband John and their combined five adult children and four grandchildren. Her favorite activities are walking their two dogs and golfing. She loves sharing her faith and is grateful for the chance to be a LIO contributor.
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