An ad promoting a trip to Glacier National Park

By John Pierce

Often I need the reminder, “It’s not just what you say but how you say it.”

Those of us who tend to be rather direct — and somewhat blunt — in making our points can be correct in our statements yet inadequate in communicating needed sensitivity and concern.

How we say something communicates as well as what we say. Tone, inflection and attitude send messages along with the words.

This sign in a sculpture garden overlooking the Tennessee River atop the Bluff View Art District in downtown Chattanooga offered a good reminder of the “how” part of communication. Instead of screaming “don’ts” it offered some positive possibilities for those peacefully scrolling along the winding trail.

Parents do better when learning this reality as well. It’s good to tell children what they can do rather than harping constantly on what not to do.

In fact, this approach works well in much of our communication.

 Let the words you speak always be full of grace.” (Colossians 4:6a)

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