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Before you respond–look. Take a moment to look for clues of what might be going on behind the words. True, they could just be words, but often there is more behind the words that we are missing. This is where I think social media fails us. We read a status update and see just a dozen or so words painting a picture that truly needs thousands to be fully explained.
Look at body language, look at history, look at the emotions in the words. Never once have I regretted taking time to look before I have jumped into respond–but oh, the times I regret having jumped in without looking! Those I cannot count.
Stop and listen. Stop and look. Stop and pause before you respond.
When I see stop as it relates to communication I think of the verse in the Bible
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
This verse is talking about thoughts we are to let our mind think on, but I think it also applies to our speech.
If the words we are about to speak are not true, are not noble, are not right, are not pure, are not lovely, are not admirable–if they are not excellent or praiseworthy–they shouldn’t be said.
These 3 words on the pavement. Hard, hard words. I stumble. I fall. I plow through when I should have stopped.
Which brings me to a 4th and 5th words I wish were on the pavement. Forgive & Grace.
These two words cannot be separated. Forgive and give grace to others when they stumble and neglect to remember these 3 words when communicating with you. And if you know you have stumbled ask forgiveness and give yourself grace.
Look. Listen. Stop. Forgive & Grace.
If you are interested in friendship building, you might also like these posts:
- 10 Bible Verses On What It Takes To Be A Good Friend
- 10 Ways A Thrifty Gal Hangs Out With Her Friends For less
- New Town to Hometown series
A great book on the topic of friendship that I read and loved: Friendship: A Gift To Give
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