“Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend.”
(Proverbs 22:11, NLT)
Sometimes my words can get me into trouble. But communicating graciously involves more than just our words. It also involves our tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language.
In his book, Graciousness Tempering Truth With Love, John Crotts addresses the importance and need to effectively communicate in a loving and gracious manner. He asks the question: Why do we need graciousness? Perhaps the simple answer is – to be more like Jesus in His example.
While Jesus knew God’s revealed truth like no other person, He never used God’s truth in inappropriate ways. His graciousness always matched His knowledge of the truth.
(from page 5)
The second question the author raises is: What exactly is gracious speech? He responds with a shared quote by Clifford Pond:
“Graciousness is an absence of deliberate aggravation and any kind of rabble-rousing; it is impregnated with courtesy, love, humility, and transparent sincerity.” Such speech is not harsh, critical, or judgmental. Pond adds, “A gracious speaker always has the good of others at heart and not their hurt.”
(from page 11)
The book is a short read but one to be read slowly in order to absorb and make application to our lives. He gently and wisely guides us toward cultivating graciousness in our own hearts, in our mind-set towards other, in our actions, and in our communities.
The author closes with a quote from John Newton, “the eighteenth-century slave trader turned gracious pastor”:
“Go forth, therefore, in the name and strength of the Lord of Hosts, speaking the truth in love; and may he give you a witness in many hearts, that you are taught of God, and favoured with the unction of his Holy Spirit.”
(as quoted on page 137)
In a time when graciousness is much needed and in short supply, this book is a practical guide and help for us all in our daily conversations with those around us.
** I received this book in exchange for my review from Reformation Heritage Books via Cross Focused Reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”