MIND THE GAP. STAND WELL CLEAR, VEHICLE REVERSING. EXIT THROUGH GIFTSHOP.
We hear words like these all the time - words that talk at us but not to us and that want something from us. The world is full of cold words like these, and we even use them on each other. It's sometimes easier to treat people like they're not there. It takes less effort.
But actually, the way we talk to people can make all the difference. The language that we choose to use, and the effort that we put in can be a part of demonstrating God's love to others. God tasks us with being gracious in our words. 'Graciousness' is giving more of ourselves to others than we need to - it's paying attention to people, recognising them especially when we don't have to.
Graciousness in conversation is one of the first markers of an on-fire Christian. It's the difference between nodding with our eyes down when people hold a door open for us, or looking them in the eye and saying, 'Thanks!' It's why people who care for the paralysed and very elderly often make an effort to be friendly to them all the time. When we expect to be treated like an object, kind words can make all the difference. Graciousness in conversation means changing the focus of our words from ourselves to the other person.
So what now? Try switching most of the 'I's' in your conversations to 'You's' - it says to the other person, 'I see you, I know you're there, and you're worth my time.'
Soulfood : Gen 20-23, John 13:1-17, Ps 146, Prov 31:18-21