Interpersonal Leadership: Communication
“Biblical Guidance for Communications” (SL#43)
by Lloyd Elder, Th.D., adapted from SkillTrack® 7.3 - Interpersonal Communications

1. Biblical Terms
“Communication,” as such, is not normally the translation of a biblical term. However, the principles, experiences, and practices of interpersonal communication are expressed in rich and varied terms across the pages of Scripture. This article introduces carefully selected common terms such as “mouth,” “tongue,” “lips,” “speech,” “word,” etc. The Psalmist sets our theme and commitment.

Psalm 19:14 (NIV)--May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Glossary--mouth
The way in which the Bible constantly uses the organ of speech in the sense of "language" is a good example of the employment of the concrete for the abstract. . . . So to receive a message is to have words put into the mouth. . . . Finally, the mouth is personified; it is an independent agent. It brings freewill offerings (Ps 119:108). God sets a watch before it (141:3); it selects food (Prov 15:14), uses a rod (14:3), and has a sword (Rev 19:15). . . . --NIV Bible Dictionary, Zondervan

Glossary--tongue
. . . . The figurative uses of the word are interesting. The tongue of the just is a treasure (Prov 10:20; 12:18) and a mark of wisdom (Isa 50:4); it is like a bow (Jer 9:3), an arrow (9:8), and a lash (18:18). The miracle at Pentecost included "tongues of fire" (Acts 2:3). The tongue is little but can do great things (James 3:5, 8).
--NIV Bible Dictionary, Zondervan

2. Communication: Biblical Guidance
Biblical guidance in communication may be pursued in several ways. Let me suggest only three:

Now, let us examine specific biblical guidance texts about our communication:

3. Communication Afterthought
In addition to biblical principles and practices, scholars have restated and applied principles of communication for everyday life and work. Consider these four (see also 7.3 CD-ROM Support Materials, Unit 2):

Wiio’s Laws-- To Keep Us on the Alert:
Osmo Wiio gives us some communication maxims similar to Murphy’s law:


4. For Reflection/Assessment/Application

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For full citation of referenced works, see Bibliography/Links at www.servantleaderstoday.com
Adapted by Lloyd Elder, Th.D., Founding Director, Moench Center for Church Leadership