One way of getting to know people better is to talk to each other and ask questions. When I meet someone new we usually exchange names and tell a little about ourselves. To keep a conversation going I try to think of questions that will help me get to know a person better.
Whether we are talking to someone we know or a stranger our talk should always be gracious.
Let your speech be always with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
What about when you are talking with people you know well? Does your conversation ever dwindle or heat up? What if your conversation leads to a difficult discussion? We still should try to speak graciously even if it is hard.
A Heart to Heart Family Talk
Just this afternoon our family got a rough start into a conversation. We said some things that caused some misunderstanding. It would have been a perfect opportunity to let anger lead.
But as the conversation continued, we all had a chance to speak and ask each other questions. Some may have raised voices a little, but there was no real anger. We honestly wanted to show love and try to understand each other better.
What could have turned into a shouting match, became a good heart to heart talk among the five of us.
We had referred to Scripture as we talked, but near the end we read some passages that spoke to our concerns. God used that experience to help us see how much we need to read His word and to have these conversations together.
One issue of concern was how we can be sure we belong to God. I wrote about that in this post: Belong: To God and in Community. I quoted John 10:27-30 where Jesus, referring to us as His sheep, says that He gives us eternal life. He then says that no one can snatch us out of His hand.
Someone asked about what it says in Matthew 7:21. Some people will be told by God that He never knew them. As I read the verse in its context of the whole chapter, it seemed to me it was referring to the false prophets.
15“Be on your guard against false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. 16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ 23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers!’
God Knows our Hearts
Ultimately only God knows each of our hearts, and we need to talk to Him about our concerns.
We all do things we shouldn’t do. Sometimes we forget to do things we should, but that doesn’t mean we don’t belong to Jesus. He forgives our sins and restores us to a right relationship with Him. In Romans, we read this:
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I don’t usually end my post with a prayer, but I would love for you to pray with me today.
I thank you for your grace and for your love. Thank you that we can bring all our concerns before you and you will hear and answer. May we all think about our words when we speak to others and may they be seasoned with grace. Draw our hearts close to you. Help us in all our conversations to search for truth and treat each other with kindness.
In the name of Jesus I pray,
This is a combination of Day 13 and Day 14 of Five Minute Friday 31 Days of Free Writes, and the prompt words are talk and ask.
To read the other posts in this series click on: 31 Days of Encouragement