Sharing the Right Picture with Your Words

A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

─ James 3:5-6 NLT

Sharing the Right Picture with Your Words

Have you ever said something to someone and it was received completely out of context? It’s important to choose your words carefully because words form a picture in our minds. That’s all a word is.

When you hear a foreign language and you don’t understand it, no picture develops in your mind. But when words you understand are spoken, images immediately develop in your mind. In any relationship, there’s always a possibility the images you form from the words you hear are completely different from the images the person you are speaking to sees, because they grew up with different representations of the very word you are trying to use to communicate. And when you use that word, the picture they hold in their mind is not the one you hoped they would see.

Our verse today reminds us that the tongue can set your relationship on fire. One word can spark a fire and burn down the whole forest.

It’s important to craft your words carefully before you speak so that you communicate the intended message and share the right picture in the mind and heart of your receiver. We want to put thought to the words we speak.

Especially when it comes to important conversations, ask yourself:

  • What do I need to say?
  • How do I want to say it?
  • What words can I use that will draw the best picture in the receiver’s mind.

Careful consideration about your conversations will make a huge difference in the quality of any relationship.

Today’s One Thing

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be your helper in any situation. As you begin to share with others, ask God to prepare their hearts. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you use words that will give them the right picture in their minds for the words you want to say.

Additional Reading
Source: 2019 ILS Love Habits

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