Reprinted by permission of The Incorporated Trustees of the Gospel Worker Society, Union Gospel Press, P.O. Box 6059, Cleveland, Ohio 44101
Have you noticed that some people just start talking and you get the impression that they don't have a filter. Words automatically spew out and you are expected to sort through them, hopefully to find a few gems.
The problem is that when words spill out in such abundance, with little or no filtering, the listener gets bored, and his mind wanders, waiting for this talking machine to run out of gas.
The words are so airy that they cannot land, or if they do land we do not much care because they seem to have too little meaning or weight.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are those rare people who speak less often (although they certainly do not fear silence), and when they speak, we listen. Their words are measured and well thought out.
They seem to be able to condense their words into cohesive, comprehensive thoughts. We strain to listen. Each thought, indeed, each word has weight and meaning.
Before we have time for the mind to wander, the speaker has finished and we are left with pearls of wisdom. We do not want any of those words to fall to the ground.
Years ago I met a man named Bob Boardman who had been shot in the throat by a Japanese sniper in World War II and severely injured. After the war, instead of being bitter, Bob went back to Japan as a missionary.
One evening I was invited to a meeting where Bob was speaking. Because of his throat injury, speaking was difficult. He has sort of a guttural whisper. I had expected he would be rather difficult to understand. Instead, he was so passionate about the work God had called him to do that the little group hung on his every word. You could have heard a pin drop.
I have asked myself over the years, what it is that makes one speaker so memorable and another boring.
Certainly we as Christians want our words to be interesting. One of the early saints said, "Preach the Gospel everywhere you go, and if necessary use words." There are some people who live out the Gospel so clearly that we recognize their Christianity even before they speak.
Bob was like that. There was an intensity about him that compelled one to really listen.
Certainly our Lord spoke with that kind of intensity. I am sure Peter and Paul and the other apostles did also.
I think this is what Paul was talking about when he said, "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt. that ye may know how to answer every man," Col. 4:6 KJV
Frana Hamilton is Director of Training at a vocational school where she teaches, advises and encourages out-of-work adults who need some training and a helpful boost to get them back into the workplace. She considers it a great privilege to have this ministry.