Three Keys to Avoid Corrupt Communication
by Keith Glines
Have you noticed that the five passions of authentic manhood are intertwined? They seem to work together, creating synergy and momentum. For example, I’ve noticed that the entrepreneurial passion works closely with the adventurous spirit, which gives me the ability to take calculated risks in business. As we’ve learned in the book, FivestarMan – The Five Passions of Authentic Manhood, David’s adventurous spirit moved him onto the field of contest to face Goliath; however, before he went onto the battlefield he first inquired what the reward would be for such a bold risk.
Today, I learned another valuable lesson. I’m a little embarrassed by it, but feel that it may encourage you.
My day started out on a high. I just got off the phone strategizing and encouraging someone who was facing a difficult situation. I really felt as if the Spirit of Christ was helping me communicate hope to that person.
Just as I released that call, another call came in from someone with whom I have a business deal that is not going well and is causing a lot of turmoil. Within seconds, my spirit went from the high of the encouragement to a pit of strife. You’ve heard the old saying, “He blew a gasket.” That’s what I did. My engine was running well past the RPMs. Man, I blew it!
As I took the call, my mother and father arrived. My son greeted them. I waved my hand to greet them, but my attention and anger were beginning to boil from the conversation on the phone. Embarrassingly, words that I have tried to eliminate from my vocabulary began to burst out against a person on the phone. I allowed my passion for business to disengage from being a gallant man. As Neil Kennedy often says, “We should refuse to live beneath the dignity of the One who gave us life.”
As I tore into the person on the phone, verbally assaulting them, fuming with anger, I looked over to see the shock on my mother’s face with her jaw dropped − the disappointment on my father’s bowed head − and the terror in my son’s darting eyes, looking for a quick escape. My son jumped into the car with my wife as she was going to run an errand. He had to leave the embarrassment of the moment.
Interestingly, it’s moments like this that can erase a thousand good times. This is the moment that is remembered. I had some repair work to do.
I want my mother to see me at my best, not at my worst. I apologized to her. My father understands the pressures of business and knows the conflicts that can be involved; however, I knew I had disappointed him. The most difficult apology was to my son, I explained that I had allowed myself to burst out of emotion rather than deal with it in wisdom. I apologized to him.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. – Ephesians 4:29
It wasn’t just the words that I used, it was using words to tear down rather than build up. My goal was to belittle the person. I used my words like poisoned arrows to pierce the soul of that person and cause their wounds. My words not only hurt the person with whom I was doing business, it caused collateral damage to my own family.
Finally, after reading Paul’s advise to not allow unwholesome talk come out of my mouth. He goes onto say, “Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit…get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, and every form of malice.”
On the first phone call I was used by the Spirit to speak encouragement to a person. The second phone call − I grieved the Spirit by speaking out of anger.
Here are 3 strategies to avoid corrupt communication:
- I will not take a phone call in haste. Haste leads to poverty. I will strategize an appropriate time to take a business call, especially if it is dealing with a difficult matter.
- I will engage wisdom before I speak. I will remember that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of wisdom. I will not cause Him to be grieved.
- Knowing that all wars have collateral damage. I will not use my words as weapons of warfare to hurt those with whom I am speaking.
Keith Glines is social media strategist, an adventurer,
husband, father, and follower of Christ.