I’ve heard this said, “Don’t mix your words with your mood, you can change your mood but you can’t take back your words.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently complimented our Prime Minister for controlling the Covid-19 situation effectively. It said his words turned out to be meaningful compared to other leaders. Two months after his first speech, we got over some huge bumps in the ‘controlled’ environment.
He communicated the situation to Singaporeans and I don’t think they’ve an easy job manoeuvring through some of the landmines. But what was key was their commitment to communicate, to keep the country in a state of peace and security amid uncertainties.
Our Lord Jesus was a master communicator and people were always amazed at His authority, power, and insights. His words evoked mental and emotional responses; they involved hearing, understanding, encountering, and responding. Jesus didn’t just speak the words, He DID the works of the Father. He did impossible things that no one could do.
Jesus also used contrast constantly and in His parables – the seed falling among good soil and bad soil; a tiny mustard seed becoming the largest tree; the landowner who paid the workers who laboured an hour the same wage as those working a full day; the foolish and wise builders constructing on rock and sand; the end-time judgment of the sheep and the goats – and many more.
He turned His disciples’ focus towards the ‘whys’ and answered the ‘whats’ when He said, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat … Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap… and God feeds thm… do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink … but seek the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you” (Luke 12:22-31).
Some say the Sermon on the Mount takes seven minutes when read aloud, so Jesus must have been doing something along with His message. He crafted the message to suit the situation, to address needs and everyday problems. Not only were people taught and inspired, they received revelation of the Truth.
I believed Jesus took on all the emotions – from joy to deep pain, anger to compassion, zeal to sorrow, grief to groaning. He loved the people as the Good Shepherd and He connected with them. In every encounter they had with Jesus, Truth was revealed.
Communicating is a way of life; it isn’t a skill set. We’re instructed in Proverbs 4:17 that wisdom is the principal thing and in all our getting, to get understanding. People will respond to our character much more than to any communication technique we use.
Jesus never conducted a media campaign nor took university courses in communications, yet He influenced the world more than anyone who ever lived because of who He was.
Choose authenticity, because people will respond to you if they see that you’re being real as success isn’t about getting what you want but giving what you have. Jesus gave of Himself to us with the power of the same Holy Spirit whom He gave to you and me – to communicate His Father’s message of truth, righteousness, and love.
When we communicate through words, it may not always be truthful and revelatory, and we don’t want to rely on theories which God has not given. Jesus said, “Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it” (Luke 17:33). And if we lose our lives, we’ll gain what truly matters in the end.
In this Circuit Breaker season, let’s ask God to set our hearts in the right direction and for grace to walk well on the path of truth. May we become a more just, more productive, humble, and equitable society where Christians shine.
May we show how to live differently and so motivate others to seek God. And, from the letters of John Wesley who said, “Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.”
Pastor Daphne Yang