How many of us have left an important conversation thinking to ourselves, “Well, that didn’t go well!” It is not only words spoken in conversation that can cause us to feel this way, but often it is the nonverbal indicators, such as lack of interest, that can come across through another person’s body language. Scientists and experts seem to agree that as much as 70 percent of communication is conveyed nonverbally. We actually communicate how we feel to another person through our tone of voice, our facial expressions, our eye contact, our gestures, and even how close or far away we stand!
As believers who desire to show and to share Christ with the world around us, we need to be able to be effective communicators, and this includes using our body language well. Our attitudes and our mindset have a heavy impact on our body language. Consider the words of Philippians 2:3, for instance: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (ESV)
When someone approaches me, and if I am considering their well being above my own, then I am able to take time to genuinely care and listen to what they have to say. Having a proper attitude and authentic concern for others is key in effective nonverbal communication.
Christians want to show others that we respect and value them, and our body language plays a large role in the process of Godly communication. When others approach us, it is important to remember first that we communicate love, not because we just feel like doing it, but because God tells us to do it.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:12-13 (ESV)
If we want to communicate love to another person nonverbally, then we need to take the time to care and to show respect. This includes putting away a cellphone, making good eye contact, standing close enough to convey love and empathy, and genuinely showing compassion and interest in what the other person is saying. We would probably all consider these things to be common sense, ‘no brainer’ ways to treat other people, but all of us are guilty of conveying boredom and disrespect to others when they are trying to talk with us.
We should have plans for our day, and goals that we want and need to get accomplished. But when God brings someone across our path, then we need to put that conversation before our plans, and make time to show interest, love, and respect to that person.Let’s be great communicators, both verbally and nonverbally, of God’s love to us!
“Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18 (ESV)
– Candy Farr