Sunday, December 10, 2017

It's How You Say It

You can control how people respond to you by the way you say it. An Army private was serving apricots in the lunch line to the other soldiers. As the first 100 soldiers passed through he asked, "You don't want any apricots, do you?" Only 10% replied they did.

When the next 100 soldiers came through, he changed the question and asked, "Would you like some apricots?" When asked this way, half the soldiers wanted them. He asked the next 100, "Would you like one bowl of apricots or two?"  This time 50% wanted one bowl and 40% wanted two bowls.

Asking negatively brought a 10% response but asking positively brought a 90% approval. By changing his wording he changed their perception of the apricots. It changed from something they didn't want…to something they wanted…to something so good they wanted more.

This shows that relationships can improve or be destroyed by our words. “From the same mouth proceed blessing (building up) and cursing (tearing down)….these things out not to be so.” (James 3:10). We can bless instead of curse by doing 3 things:

1. Check your motive. Jesus said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matt. 12:34). Look inside your heart and make sure you’re “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).

2. Choose your words wisely. Think before you speak. “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Prov. 12:18). We can actually heal a wounded person’s soul by first thinking, then speaking.

3. Change your tone of voice. “A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Prov. 15:1). A gentle answer is a soft tone of voice and calms the other person. Harshness is loud and obnoxious, which evokes anger in the hearer. Can you see how lowering your tone can restore a strained relationship?

Remember, it IS what you say, but it’s also how you say it.
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