The Art of Conversation

Chris Jones by Chris Jones

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.

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Posted on December 4, 2013, in Chris Jones, Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Just got off the phone with Aetna Insurance because they were not paying a health insurance claim from an office that they have paid many before. Apparently, because I had not contacted them to verify that Aetna was my primary insurance. Its amazing how Cyberspace screws things up yet we always blame the young, innocent bystander that answers the phone in customer service. This, I am confident, is why God is keeping me on this earth until I perfect communication with innocent bystanders and share the love of Jesus. Most people find me difficult and abrasive when I am on the phone especially when dealing with difficult financial situations. This will certainly be one that I am going to consider being my number one goal for 2014. IMPROVE communication with others outside of my daily interactions with patients; those on a personal level dealing with the community at large.
    Again, you are really starting to nag me Chris….LOL. I know God is using you to help me out right now. Spiritually struggling to find out where my place in life is.
    Will share your blog on Facebook when Tom has an opportunity… I struggle with some of the technological advancements. Google just asked for my birthdate when I went to share on email and it kind of creeped me out. Sadly, I deleted the request.
    Thank you for your insight. Pam

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    • I’m glad you’re at least technically savvy enough to comment here. I love getting your feedback. It’s inspiring to know these words speak to more than just myself.

      I feel like this is something God challenges me with every day. In most instances, it’s just a matter of learning to bite my tongue, long enough to consider what value my words may or may not carry. It think I gain a better perspective of this when I consider how my words can provide salt and light to the conversation. So much of what I would otherwise want to say can so effectively work against what God might be trying to do in those moments. It’s certainly one of my life’s many on-going lessons.

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