Daily D – Colossians 4:6
Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. COLOSSIANS 4:6 (NLT)
Be gracious in your speech.
The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.
Think back on the recent presidential debate. (I am sorry to make you relive that experience.) However, it illustrates this text with no embellishment at all. In the words of Forrest Gump, “That’s about all I have to say about that.”
A quick internet search will help you locate the 1984 presidential debates between Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale. Feel free to watch those memories for the purposes of comparison and contrast.
Reagan was called The Great Communicator. At one point in one debate, he was so brilliant, so funny, even Mondale had to laugh and enjoy the moment. It is no wonder he won two landslide victories.
The positive alternative is a winning hand.
One of my favorite old sayings is, “When I’m abrasive, I’m never persuasive.” Another goes along with it. “Encouragement is oxygen to the soul.”
The “right response for everyone” is seldom, if ever, harsh, angry, curt, or vindictive. The right response makes people stand taller, understand easily, perform better, and feel valued.
The Message makes it clear: “The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.”
Here are three guidelines to work on today.
First, I will say nothing that does not bring out the best in others.
Second, I will only edify and encourage others with my words.
Third, I will speak in a manner that draws bigger circles of friendship, not smaller ones.
In this year when practically everything is going wrong, we can begin reversing the tide by the way we talk to ourselves, to those closest to us, to those we spend our days with, and to those we meet along the way.
Remember, the right response is always gracious and attractive. Take this life lesson from Paul the Apostle and not political candidates and news commentators.
The right words expressed with affection and gentleness make you more likable and lovable. They turn disagreements into searches for common ground. They replace grumpy frowns with grateful smiles.
I will thrive as I become ever more deeply rooted in Jesus.
Our Father, I want to grow strong in the truth I was taught. I want to live a live overflowing with thanksgiving. I want to thrive. Sink my roots deeply into Jesus. I want to live and to grow in a manner demonstrating the beautiful effects of your grace and mercy. Amen.
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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.