The Power of Words

by | Aug 11, 2013

Do you want to learn how to connect with people? Really connect?

To touch others heart-to-heart, life-to-life? To convince them you understand and care about them?

To move them toward actions that are right and good and pleasing to God?

Then learn how to connect with their hearts by describing experiences that trigger godly emotions. Like this … (if video screen does not appear below, click here).

Debrief

What’s the difference between “I’m blind, please help” and “It’s a beautiful day and I can’t see it”?

The first phrase presents a fact. The second paints a picture, tells a story. A story involving a person. A person who is suffering, who is missing out on something most of us enjoy but take for granted. It helps us to step into his shoes and experience what he is experiencing and feel what he is feeling.

Because God has made us as emotional beings, stories like this (whether they are nine words or twelve chapters long) trigger sadness, empathy, and compassion in our hearts … just as the struggles of life in a fallen world triggered such emotions in Jesus and moved him to loving action (Matt. 14:14; Mark 1:41; John 11:32-35).

Of course, his actions and emotions always aligned themselves with the truths and commands of Scripture. So if we want to live and love like him, we must continue to grow in wisdom and knowledge through the careful study of His Word (2 Pet.1:3-8)

At the same time, we need to ask him to help us learn how to go beyond the sharing of facts, opinions, and theological statements, and learn to speak in words that describe the experiences and challenges of life in terms that connect us heart-to-heart as well as mind-to-mind.

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind” (1 Pet. 3:8).

– Ken Sande

Reflection Questions:

  • Why do you think God presented the redemption story in the form of a narrative (Genesis to Revelation) rather than a textbook on systematic theology?
  • What metaphors and word pictures did Jesus use to connect with both the minds and hearts of his listeners (see, e.g., Mark 11:17; Luke 15:11-32; John 3:29; John 10:11-12; John 19:26-27)? Which of these pictures are most meaningful to you? What emotions do they trigger and what concepts do they convey?
  • Who is the most engaging and edifying speaker you know? How often does he or she speak in terms that paint pictures you can visualize or stories you can imagine? What can you learn from that person on how to communicate to others in a more winsome and compelling way?

Permission to distribute: Please feel free to download, print, or electronically share this message in its entirety for non-commercial purposes with as many people as you like.

© 2013 Ken Sande

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