A great way to improve communication is to replace destructive tones with constructive ways of talking to others.
Words of appreciation and encouragement are excellent alternatives to tones of grumbling, whining; impatience, frustration and defensiveness.
These ugly tones cause conflict to escalate and alienate people from each other. A simple thing like choosing positive tones can defuse rather than infuse anger and hurt. Parents especially need to ask if their words and tones set the right example for their children.
So I offer you this simple but memorable way to keep the right tones and words
The formula is based on the New Testament Scripture Ephesians 4:29 –
- “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (Ephesians 4:29, NLT).
In doing this, we will live out the first two characteristics of true love –
- “Love is patient, Love is kind…” (I Corinthians 13:4).
This could improve your life and the lives of those close to you!
We all too easily excuse our attitudes, words and tones by pointing to the difficult people around us. So remember the basic truth that the only person you can change is yourself. Self-correction and personal change, we can restore purpose and joy and even powerfully influence others.
So if you feel stuck in a bad place, start by challenging yourself to talk differently. Intentionally and aggressively choose words and tones that align with E429. By starting with the words and tones, it will help you confront attitudes and emotions behind them.
Recognize how all of this change fits under the work God is doing in your life.
“Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:12-13).
I have work to do on this. Will you join me?
See also: Spiritual Depression