What if you could give everyone you meet a bit of joy, without carrying a pocketful of goodies? After all, not everyone wants or needs candy. But there’s one thing that can bring everyone joy, pleasure, delight, and loveliness: words full of grace. The Proverbs writer said that gracious words are “like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Proverbs 16:24).
Before you know how to speak though, you have to know how to listen. And the ability to truly hear someone only comes from having a heart that is covered in grace. Totally soaked in it. Because when you know Jesus’ sacrifice, His love and the Father’s care for you, your problems melt away. Once “the word of Christ dwell[s] in you richly,” wisdom and praise flow from your mouth and your heart is full of thankfulness (Colossians 3:16).
When your heart is full of grace, the focus shifts from you to others. And that’s the starting place of true, good conversation. When you talk to someone, you’re trying to make him or her comfortable, not wondering if you sound weird or look funny or should be talking to someone else, either in person or on your phone. You’re focused only on that person and trying to find something he or she wants or needs to talk about: asking about his or her concerns, interests, and expertise. When you’re face to face with someone, give him or her your full and focused attention.
When your heart is full of grace, thankfulness, and the words of Christ, and you’re focused on finding something the other person wants to talk about, and you’re listening with a heart to help, guess what? Now this person trusts you, and will listen to you. Now, when you offer wisdom from God or praise for His Name, your words will go straight to the heart of the person listening to you.
But it all begins with setting your mind on heaven, and hiding your life in Christ’s (Colossians 3:2,3). From that selfless heart comes the desire to help others. From that desire comes the ability to listen. When you combine the desire to help others with focused attention, the right words will come. They will be exactly what that person needs to hear. Christ is your pocketful of candy.