Having the Right Heart

Like almost any skill, excellence in communication demands practice, planning, consistent improvement, and self-evaluation. This is the art of intentional communications. The process starts with you deciding that you want to achieve excellence in communicating, and that you will intentionally and consistently learn to improve your ability. Being a great communicator requires not only that you are constantly trying to improve, but your communications are aligned with God. Quality communication is a learned skill, and like anything else in life, improvement requires practice.

Philippians 2:1-5
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2. then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Proverbs 10:20

The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value.

Proverbs 16:2 
All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.

Proverbs 21:2-3 
A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart.
3. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Proverbs 22:11
He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.

Luke 6:45 
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth

The above verses do not mention that you should have a “right heart” unless you are tired, upset, irritated, frustrated, short tempered, etc. Most of the time, when life’s circumstances are being good to us, we find it easier to have a right heart and a good attitude. Yet when life, as it so often does, deals us a bad set of circumstances is when it is most important to have our hearts right with God.

It is important to realize, especially as it relates to good communication, that when it is critical to do something well tends to be when we are most apt to fail. An example of this is comes in shopping on a Saturday afternoon. A good store manager knows that the busiest day and time for shopping is Saturday afternoon. The store has the most customers, some of which may not be regulars, so this is the most important time for the store to be at its best in terms of customer service, cleanliness, availability of products, etc. Unfortunately, this is often when the store is the most chaotic! Likewise, in dealing with communications, it is when we are in a difficult or heated discussion that we need to be the most effective communicator, and yet that is when we fail the most. It seems like when we are frustrated or upset we want to lash out at someone so they can hurt as well. When we do this, we mostly end up targeting our family members and friends. Ironically, it is often the people we want to hurt the least that we end up hurting the most. This is one of the reasons why it is crucial to maintain a right heart during these tough and difficult circumstances.

Each and every day we make an impact on someone’s life. It is your choice whether this will be a positive or negative, but the impact will be made. Few of us ever fully realize the impact we have on other people’s lives. This is particularly true regarding our spouses, children, co-workers, and friends.

This influence over other people’s lives is real and can have long-lasting effects. You can be helpful, encouraging, and uplifting or your choice could be to say what you want, when you want, without any real concern on how this affects others, your decision. We, as adults, remember many things from our childhood that have a profound influence on the way we feel, think, and live our lives today. As you go about your life, there are people upon which you have a profound influence, including the way they think, live, and feel emotions based on what you said or did. For many years to come, your influence will be felt and acted upon by many people. What example do you want to be? How do you want your loved ones to remember you? Have you ever said something that you immediately knew was wrong and wanted to take it back? Haven’t we all? The problem is we can never, ever take it back, because once words are spoken they can never be unspoken. We may be able to apologize and ask for forgiveness, but would it not have been better if these words were never spoken at all? This is why it is up to you, led by the Holy Spirit, to have the right heart, one that is conformed to God’s will. Having this kind of heart is a very nice spiritual principle, but the reality of its constant practice is quite difficult. This is why it must become part of your daily life. You must proactively decide to become a good communicator.

Controlling our tongue is not only something that we should want to do to benefit the people around us, but God also commands us to do so in his word.

James 3: 5-10 
Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8. but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

WOW! Read and meditate on the above scripture, it is powerful!

Proverbs 12:18 tells us:
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Do you want to bring healing? It is your choice!

Proverbs 13:3
He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.

Proverbs 14:15
 A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps. We must think before we speak. (Have you ever heard that before?)

James 1:26
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless We show the worth of Jesus, and our Christianity by the words we use.

James 3:16-17
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

Consider what the Bible says about emotional or ill-tempered actions and conversations. I hear many times of someone having a “bad temper,” as if this somehow excuses the behavior or, even worse, we somehow can admire this quality. We all have our sensitive areas, but it is up to us to control them. Again, the power of the Holy Spirit is always with us! Let us take full advantage of this blessing.

Proverbs 14:17
A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated.

Proverbs 14:29
A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.

Proverbs 15:18
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. Ask God for wisdom and to boldly fill you with the fruits of the spirit.

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23. gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. All of our communications should show these fruits of the spirit. It is up to us, through prayer, along with our desire to please God and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, to do so.

Philippians 4:8-9
Finally, brothers, 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. 9. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. The tongue has caused more pain, hurt, envy, and strife than any of us can ever imagine, but it has also brought more healing, encouragement, laughter, and joy than we will ever know. The choice, by the way is yours. What do you want your words to bring?

Lastly Peter says:

1 Peter 2:11-12 
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 . Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.