Changing the way we communicate is challenging
…but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:8 (NIV)
Without the change of the heart no lasting, real change in any area will take place. Heart change is not something you can do to yourself or for yourself - your heart is deceitful and wicked (Jer. 17:9), and you cannot possibly know the depths of its depravity, nor can you conjure up enough goodness within yourself to truly change.
The way you communicate is a reflection of what is in your heart. Ask yourself some hard questions- what is your speech like? Do you freely curse and swear? Do you gossip, backbite and use your words to hurt other people in the midst of an argument and then say, “I didn’t really mean that”? Do you manipulate to gain the advantage, being superficially nice only to “turn on” that person? These are all sick, sinful and ungodly methods of communication. And even if you don’t want to believe it or agree with me, you really do mean every word you speak.
These words come from the heart. The heart is like the roots of a plant or a tree. If the roots are healthy so is the tree, right? What is at the heart level is what is guiding your thoughts, beliefs, actions and desires and directly affects communication. None of these things operate in a vacuum or independent of each other.
If the heart is the root of the communication problem, how do we correct it? First you have to be sure your heart is right with God. Because apart from God. His truth and enablement, change here will always be elusive.
Heart change is not something you can do to yourself or for yourself. Remember that your heart is deceitful and wicked (Jer. 17:9), and you cannot possibly know the depths of its depravity, nor can you conjure up enough goodness within yourself to truly change.
Only God can change the human heart.
And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT)
I often tell my counselee’s that the goal of their lives is to live in a manner that brings glory to God. This means, to cause others to speak well of God. That as others witness how they act, speak and conduct themselves they would say, “Wow this person is different, and it is because of God.” Truly, it is because of God! It is a result of being “in Christ” that we are enabled to walk worthy. It is fruit, evidence of the changed heart of the Christian.
“Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Eph 4) means setting a good example of Christ to others. Make it the goal of your life to live in a manner that brings glory to God. This means, to cause others to speak well of God.
These things are results of being “in Christ” they are fruit, evidence of the changed heart of the Christian. You cannot fake them or manufacture them yourself. They come only as a result of being united with Christ in a truly salvific relationship.