By Rick Thomas (Guest Blogger)
Key Takeaway – If you do not have genuine affection for the person you disagree with, it would be best not to engage them in a disagreement. The first step in relational communication is genuine affection for the other person.
What kind of person is easier for you to engage in a disagreement? Someone you have genuine affection for or someone you have less affection for? Here are a few characteristics of a person in which you have genuine affection:
- You are more willing to listen to them than speak to them – James 1:19
- You regularly pray for them – 1 Corinthians 1:4
- Your speech builds them up – Ephesians 4:29
- You quickly repent when you are harsh to them – Proverbs 15:1
- You are quick to guard your tongue so you do not hurt them – Psalm 141:3
- You speak wisdom to them so you can serve them – Proverbs 16:23
- You are selective in your speech so you do not sin against them – Proverbs 10:19
- You carry them in your heart – 1 Thessalonians 1:3-4
If you genuinely care for another human being, then you can lovingly disagree and problem solve with them. If you cannot disagree or problem-solve, then the first place to diagnose the problem is in your heart, not with the other person.
Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. – Luke 6:45 (ESV)
What comes out of your mouth toward the other person reveals your heart attitude toward them. Do not gloss over this point. If you are unkind, harsh, stubborn, mean-spirited, crude, or any other unloving speech pattern toward another person, then your heart is broken and needs restoring (Galatians 6:1-2).
Rick is an author, speaker, consultant, and podcaster. He has been training in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1997. After several years as a counselor and pastor he founded and launched his own training organization in order to encourage and equip people for more effective living. In the early ’90’s he earned a BA in Theology. He then earned a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry and in 2000 he graduated with a MA in Counseling. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow with ACBC. Today his organization reaches people around the world through consulting, training, writing, and speaking.