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How To Converse Like a Christian...

Updated: Jan 16

I don't know what you think about when I use these two words together "Christian" and "Conversation"? For a long time, I would have just looked at 'Christian' conversation as simply words spoken that are devoid of lying and sin and maybe inserted discussion about Jesus. And let me be clear, I think both of those things qualify as an important part of a 'Christian' conversation. "Let you speech be full of grace and seasoned with salt". But having a Christ-honoring conversation is more than just the WORDS we say - it's often characterized by what we DON'T say. And it's THAT aspect of what it means to 'converse like a Christian' that I think could use a little bit of reflection.

I think this is especially important right now for 3 reasons. First, because I've noticed many, many people have lost the ability to effectively carry on a conversation - which is an essential building block of all relationships and ministry. Second, because I think digital communication has actually hampered the skill of face-to-face conversation. Third, because sometimes we forget how much of what we communicate to others is non-verbal. Meaning, our words can be saying one thing, but our actions can say something completely different. And so, we both want our SILENCE and our WORDS to communicate clearly and well that the people we are talking to MATTER and are loved.

So, with that intro - here are 4 tips for conversing like a Christian!

  1. Listen! When you monologue - you may be doing nothing but saying what is on your mind, but you are ALSO saying something very important to the other person - that you don't really matter. A monologue is appropriate and good in situations when you are coming to hear, to glean, to learn from someone else. But friendships and relationships happen when their is DIALOGUE. So, check to see if you are engaging in what Bonhoeffer calls the "ministry of silence". If you leave a conversation knowing nothing new or nothing more about the person to which you were talking, then you have engaged in a monologue, not a dialogue, and may have communicated something to that person you didn't mean to.

  2. Ask Good Questions! Did you know that the single best way to show someone that you find them valuable is to ask them questions? It's true! Asking questions tells the person - I'm interested in YOU. I want to hear what's going on with YOU. My focus is on YOU. I can't count how many times I've had conversations that have been a steady stream of questions to understand and know a person, but even when there is a lull in conversation and the void demands filling - the question never comes.

  3. Learn From Others! Let someone teach you. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Every man I meet is my master at some point, and in that I learn of him." When we come with all the answers, and never are able to learn from others, then we are saying "I have nothing to learn from you!" This is simply not true. I learn things from my children all the time! So, don't have to have all the answers. Learn from others!

  4. Be Intentional/Pro-Active in Conversing! One of the best ways we non-verbally communicate value, love, etc. is by intentionally prioritizing times of conversation. When I set aside time to 'just talk' with my spouse or a friend or someone else, I'm telling them that they are 'worth my time'. So, make time for conversation, and you have already won half the battle.

My hope is that these will help you converse like a Christian! And that the Lord will strengthen friendships, encourage you, and use you to build others up!

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