The supreme Christian attribute is love. The Bible repeatedly points to the power of love and its necessity in the lives of believers (see 1 Corinthians 13:13 and Matthew 22:36-40). In short, we could all learn to love more. One such way that we can learn to love is in the way that we speak.
The common way that many Christians filter their speech is by asking these three questions, “Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?” My pastor and friend, Todd Linn, has also challenged me to ask, “Is it helpful?”
Perhaps another question to ask ourselves before we speak is, “Am I speaking in love?”
We humans are particularly prone to selfishness. We don’t always think of the other person when we are speaking. We are often more concerned with getting our point across than we are with loving the person to whom we are speaking. Yet, the Bible charges us to do the exact opposite (see Philippians 2:3).
Here are some tips that may prove helpful to you in attempting to speak with love:
1. Consciously remind yourself to think of the other person’s feelings. This may help you speak in a more loving way.
2. Ask yourself, “What is the end goal of my conversation with this person?” If the end goal is to prove that you’re right or simply correct someone, you may need to back off and reevaluate.
3. Consider how to share what you really mean, but do so in a way that anticipates how it might be received. You want to be able to share what you truly need to share. However, it never hurts to think how to say it in a way that comes off smoother or gentler.
4. Ask God to give you a spirit of love in your speech. The Holy Spirit can supernaturally gift you with grace, wisdom, and love in your speech. Ask Him and see what happens.
Please add some more tips and suggestions in the comments.