The Art of Conversation
Posted by witnessrunner
You know something I love about Jesus? He’s a master of the art of conversation. I love looking at the stories The Bible tells of how Jesus interacted with people. It’s interesting to see the tone of his conversations, the contrast between those he had with people inside and outside of religious circles of the time. It seems to reveal a lot, in regard to Jesus’ feelings about religious conceit.
The vast majority of Jesus’ conversations take place where people live. His points always come from the perspective of deep, personal knowledge of the lives of those he interacts with. Even the most casual points of contact always seem totally intentional. There never seems to be even one wasted word. Everything was said and done purposefully, to express the Father’s love for people and his purpose for their lives.
It makes me wonder how much more successful the church could be, in spreading the message of God’s love, if we were as intentional about our conversations.
It seems part of the problem is the ease with which we can now deliver our thoughts, through the platform we’re provided by social media. While it may be a form of great release to throw your two cents in or issue a rant about a particular person, place or thing, do we pause long enough to consider what benefit our quips lend to the overall message we’re supposed to project? Rather, it seems we find ourselves fighting the losing battle of defending our faith through arguments and debates, after trampling the digital toes of those we forgot are observing. Have we forgotten to consider where the people on our friends lists live? Have we disregarded what responsibility we have to fully consider the deep, personal issues that shape the words or actions that have so motivated us to submit our own offensive retort?
What Jesus knew is that everything in his life was leading to one thing, the revelation of God’s love for the world, through the sacrifice of his life. He had no time to waste with selfish pursuits or misplaced arguments. Like a dart, he let no friction keep him from speeding towards his mark. It’s all about the art of conversation. It’s something I pray God makes me better at (finding myself even this last week in a conversation I wish I handled more effectively).
So what is your experience? Can you think of a time you found yourself in the middle of a conversation/argument you could have totally avoided, if you chose your words more carefully or swallowed them altogether? In what ways could we, as the church, improve the quality of the conversation we have with the world? I’d love to receive your comments.