Therefore encourage one another and build each other up... 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
We never know the impact of a few kind words. At a random table in a high school gym, I happened to sit next to Grace. Her accent was thick and her smile a bit crooked. I asked a simple question and then intentionally listened. God delivered a few kind words to share with her. When it was time to go we exchanged numbers and hugged. Three days later she called and squealed, “You changed my life!”
What I learned sitting in that gym was Grace didn’t understand. She understood English, but she struggled to grasp what her boss meant when he said, “You need to communicate better!” In her mind, she was communicating! Was it her fault that no one could follow the logic?
I encouraged her to lean in and listen to her boss before responding. It was clear that he didn’t comprehend the technical way she snapped a response. To her it seemed simple, to him it felt rude.
Most people want to feel acknowledged and heard. By learning to listen and pause before responding, she left enough cushion for that to happen. The next step, try to deliver a summary instead of details, in a LOVE sandwich. The love sandwich simply begins and ends with something nice, with the necessary information in the middle.
She leaned back and proclaimed, “No one ever told me HOW to communicate better! I’m going to try this!” And she did.
God is always at work, and because of a few kind words, Grace saw Him in action. ~ Luann Prater
Father, You have a few kind words You long to deliver through our mouths. Will You give us the courage to deliver them? May we lean in to listen to Your Voice so that when we share, lives are changed. In Jesus’ name, Amen.