There is one thing we constantly do – we constantly and continually deliver messages that show the true disposition of your heart. It’s not just what you say, but the way you say it … the way you listen to others and the way you look at others … are all means of communication. It’s not a matter of whether you will communicate, but a matter of what you will communicate. And ultimately, the thing that determines whether you encourage or discourage others – whether you help or hurt others – is your heart. Your communication originates not in your mind but in your heart. Matthew 12:34 “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
Many conversations we have might be like a tennis match. Two players stand on opposite ends of the court preparing to send the ball across the net in such a way that the other has little or no chance of a successful return. The goal is not to keep the ball going back and forth between them, but to deliver the ball to prevent a response.
The secret of real communication is not to “play tennis” but rather “catch.” Remember how we played “catch” with the kids when they were young, we throw the ball to them so that they can learn to “catch” it – it trained them coordination and a ton of other things. You throw the ball to your child in such a way that it can be received and then successfully returned. The goal with “catch” is not to win but to keep the ball going back and forth between you and your child. This is what communication is about, its like “catch.”
When we communicate we want it to be satisfying and relational. In this process we communicate in words but also in a nonverbal way while we try to communicate feelings, thoughts and ideas. The idea, feeling, and thoughts we have in mind are communicated in such a way that the other person will understand the your precise feeling, thought and idea – that is effective communication.
Verbal communication conveys thoughts, ideas and feelings with the spoken word, and contains both the choice of words and the tone of voice when we say the words.
Nonverbal communication expresses thoughts, ideas and feelings without words. We express it through facial expressions, body posture, hand gestures, direct or indirect eye contact, patient or impatient listening, gentle or rough touch, style of dress and clothing, apathetic or silent responses, platonic or romantic kisses, style of discipline, use of money or gifts.
The Hebrew word “dabar,” which means “word,” and it is used in the Old Testament to express the concept of communication. It implies speaking about a matter. God’s Word, the Bible, speaks to us about God and is one of the ways God speaks to us on matters of life. Old Testament language also speaks about the life-giving power of God’s Word. Psalm 107:20 “He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.”
In the New Testament, the Greek word, “logos” (word) is not just “the expression of a thought, concept or idea,” but can also refer to the name of an object. In the first chapter of John, “the Word” (logos) signifies the Divine Expression, Christ. John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”