Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other (Romans 12:9-10, NLT).
So goes our conversations; so goes our peace and happiness.
Words can bless or cause a meltdown. Conversations can edify or demean. How many of us remember a kind word spoken decades past or a cutting remark that wounded our esteem?
In recent years, I’ve determined to have great conversations. I now summarize my conversational method as the GAB Method. Yes, I love to gab, so I’ve used this word as an anacronym . . .
Greet kindly! Ask questions! Bless often!
Let me explain each point:
Greet . . .
The Apostle Paul used the word “greet” at least 21 times in Romans 16. Paul was writing to those he knew well, had met briefly, or didn’t know at all – so he used the word “greet” as he referred to them.
I now follow the example of Paul.
“Greet” in the Greek. “Greet” in the Greek. “Greet” in the Greek (I’m being annoying) means salute or give honor. It has more depth than a simple “Hi” or “Hello.” I’m trying to use this actual word as I begin a conversation or a phrase like “Good to see you.”
As I pray in the morning, God often gives me a photograph in my mind of a person, and I pray for them. Often, I see them soon after, and I greet them by saying, “I’ve been praying for you!”
Ask . . .
Asking questions increases our likability. It also gives us an opportunity to pray for specific requests of those we know. Yes, I still talk about myself in a conversation but try to keep the ratio of about 70 percent asking questions to 30 percent talking about myself.
I’ve noticed that when I ask sincere questions — sometimes several in a row — that people go beyond the trivial to more serious matters. This often allows me to tell them about the peace that I have found in Jesus.
Bless . . .
In a conversation, speaking blessings means to identify a positive attitude, aptitude, or skill in the other person and say, “I’m impressed!” or “I enjoyed that story!” or “I think that you will do very well with the new job.”
End a conversation with a blessing as it gives grace to uplift the other person, and they will be glad that they had a conversation with you.
That’s it. My GAB Method of Conversations. Try it!
By the way, you will be blessed by reading Interruptions this week.