My mother-in-law gave my husband a book a few weeks ago. Neither one of us read books, but for some reason I picked up this one and it's been blowing me away:
"When To Speak Up (and When Not To)"
Godly Principles for Conversations You Won't Regret
By Dr. Michael D. Sedler
The subject matter is simple: communication. But we all know how complex that can be.
Disclaimer: These are quotes from the aforementioned book. They are not written by me, but are merely excepts from the book. To gain the full context of the quotes, please read the book in its entirety.
Let's glean from some quotes from the first 3 chapters:
"...to the tongue, All the limbs of man are erect but you are horizontal; they are all outside the body but you are inside. More than that, I have surrounded you with two walls, one of bone and the other if flesh." p. 18
In regards to Adam not speaking up when Eve ate the forbidden fruit:
"Adam was not being caring, protective or loving. On the contrary, he was being selfish, self-absorbed and perhaps fearful. The price of his silence is staggering." p. 22
"Our silence will only create a spiritual death within us." p. 25
In regards to David slaying Goliath:
"The army of Israel had been given the honor of protecting the people, yet they were shrinking back. David saw this and it violated the sense of shepherding so ingrained in his spirit... David knew the cost of losing a battle... Due to his understanding and experience, David was able to respond to the challenges from Goliath with authority." p. 31, 33
"Too often we speak emotionally or act impulsively, not having assessed the whole situation. While we may disagree with what we see, we must be sure that our actions are valid." p. 32
"Too often we feel that we must elevate ourselves to a person's level of authority or position in order to speak truth into his or her life... When we are willing to pour into the lives of others through obedience, God often open their ears." p. 33
"If you want to maximize the possibility of others "hearing" your voice, it is imperative they see your heart of service. Too often the heart people see in others is the heart of "self-service," which breeds suspicion and animosity... If you feel compelled to confront a situation, it is imperative to step forth with a heart of humility and service." p. 34
"When we feel the desire to speak up in a particular situation, it is important to understand each nuance as completely as possible. Too often, we blunder ahead and find out that we did not have all the facts. Asking questions is an excellent way to garner information before formulating a plan. It also shows those who are involved that we are interested in their ideas and thoughts." p. 35
"Timing, timing, timing. Test the temperature of the water before jumping in... Get the information you need so that you can better pick and choose the appropriate times to bring up issues." p. 37
"When we find ourselves in a place of confrontation, it behooves us not to come against an individual, but to help people expand their perspectives and see the possibilities in God." p. 37
"While it is not always necessary to have a great deal of experience or knowledge in order to have a strong belief system, it may affect the receptivity of the persons with whom we are sharing... we are most effective when we are motivated to encourage and educate." p. 38
"When we are caught up with "proving" something, it often turns into a power struggle." p. 39
"If a problem is addressed with accusation and innuendo, the only results are frustration and defensiveness. Instead of attacking one another, we need to attack the problem." p. 40
Good stuff, huh? It's even better in context, because Dr. Sedler lays it out so nicely with pertinent stories. There's 7 more chapters to summarize, so stay tuned!