Title: Redeeming How We Talk: Discover How Communication Fuels Our Growth, Shapes Our Relationships, and Changes Our Lives
Author: Ken Wytsma & AJ Swoboda
Genre: Christian Living
Publishing Date: June 5, 2018
About the Book:
Discover why words matter in a noisy world
Technology has made it easier than ever before to share just about everything: pictures, ideas, even the ups and downs of your morning errand run. Yet all our talking doesn’t seem to be connecting us the way it promised to. That’s because we don’t need to talk more, we need to talk better.
Redeeming How We Talk explores what the Bible has to say about that central aspect of life and relationships—conversation. The Scriptures show us that words have remarkable power—to create, to bless, to encourage, to forgive. Imagine how we, as Christians, could spark change in our families, churches, and communities if we learned to use words like Jesus did. By weaving together theology, history, and philosophy, Ken Wystsma and A. J. Swoboda help us reclaim the holiness of human speech and the relevance of meaningful conversation in our culture today.
Words can’t even describe how glad I am that I picked up this book to read. I realize that’s an interesting way to put it considering the title of it. My first impressions were that this book was about the downfall of communication despite the rise in social media and other ways intended to make communication easier. While it was definitely something discussed, this book was about so much more. It wasn’t just about the words we say, but how we use them. It wasn’t just about what we say to others, but how we approach them and how those things are said. It’s about recognizing our place before the Lord, and how our goal should primarily be about reconciling others to Christ as well, and not merely judgement. This book was convicting, challenging, encouraging, instructive, and so much more.
I confess I’m one those “underliners” when it comes to reading books. I found myself doing quite a bit of that in this one. There were so many noteworthy and memorable statements made throughout so I’m glad I can look back and take some more time to think about the words. I also intend on reading this again later, so I can see how far I’ve come and where I can continue to grow. This book is great for everyone wherever they are at on their ability to communicate. Whether you’re someone who knows that they struggle with communicating, or you see yourself as an effective communicator, we all have areas where we can experience growth.
Today social media is basically considered a way of life, yet going back less than 20 years, it didn’t even exist. I still remember the days when the only internet access was through dial-up. The computer took over the phone line so that you could spend a few minutes on the web for whatever you needed to do, and then when you were done you disconnected. How different is life today? Now we have the internet, phone, and multiple communication platforms accessible at our fingertips 24/7. “While the ability to communicate with one another is far easier now than at any point in human history, we are– more and more– experiencing the dark pangs of loneliness and isolation” (Pg 15). There are certainly pros and cons to the current ways we are able to communicate. I won’t throw social media out the window, but I’m also aware that we need to fight to restore real community within our relationships as well. We live in a time where we have the world at our fingertips, yet we are starving for real, deep fellowship. It’s something worth fighting for.
Unfortunately one of the first words that unbelievers use to describe the church is “judgemental.” While it’s important for us to make sure that we are standing on godly truths, we should be focusing on how to reach others for Christ instead of shoving them out the door. When Jesus came, he spent his time among the sinners, the ones who had been cast out and/or ignored by others. He met them where they were at and reconciled them to himself. He didn’t allow or encourage sin, but instead poured out forgiveness and directed people to his path that leads to life. If we want to reach the world for Jesus– we need to love like Jesus.
There are so many great things I have to say about this book, but I can’t share it all here. I HIGHLY recommend you pick up this book and read it. It’s such a useful encouragement on how to fight to gain back effective communication and gain fuller fellowship with others and ultimately the Lord. Whether you think you’re a great communicator or you recognize your inadequacies, I believe this book can be a great resource.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Moody Publishers. I was not required to give a positive review. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.