“Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”
Speak the word ‘attractive’ out loud.
What does it make you think of?
If your mind goes to a Kardashian, a supermodel, or some fake and airbrushed magazine cover, let me be the first to give your head a shake.
(Pull up a chair, my friend. This little Egyptian onion wants to tell you a thing or two.)
First of all, it isn’t a particularly beautiful flower. Think back to all the discussions you’ve had about flowers. Has anyone you know ever listed an Egyptian onion as their favourite?
I thought not.
This little gaffer is no rose, that’s for sure. It doesn’t have the romance for it. Neither is it as regal as a lily, as cheerful as a sunflower, or as showy as a hydrangea.
But it is remarkably attractive.
Those understated little flowers can draw a crowd, let me tell you. They are absolutely the stars of the garden.
Bees love them.
They can’t get enough.
Do you hear the lesson this funny little blossom is sharing with your heart today?
You don’t have to be the most beautiful, the best dressed, or the trendiest in the crowd. Your words – what you offer of yourself, how you communicate God’s acceptance and love – will speak for you.
As the old saying goes, you will attract more flies (do bees also count?) with honey than with vinegar.
Or in this case, who you are and what you genuinely offer to others is more important when it comes to being attractive than how you look.
Secondly, conversation skills are an art. They can be both taught and learned. If you haven’t developed your skills in this area, there are lots of lonely folks around who would love to give you some practice!
You’ve been given a voice as a gift.
Observe others as they speak. I learned a lot about asking questions and taking an interest in others from my mother-in-law! If you need to, write out a series of potential questions to ask so that you have a bit of a game plan when you meet up with someone.
Ask God for a deeper interest in others. I’ve usually got an agenda in my brain at work, and my mind is already teasing out the tangle and challenges ahead of me. Sometimes I need to remember to slow down and see the person behind the face and the needs behind the heart.
I’ve met a few special folks who always make you feel as though seeing you made their day. Their words are an encouragement and offer strength and hope and positive connection.
That is truly attractive.
Doubly so because it can only come from a beautiful heart.
Practice your gracious conversation skills with me?
Father, how important it is to use the voice you gave us to speak kindness, compassion, and grace into our messed up world! How hard it is to control our words! Forgive me when I use my words to cause harm instead of peace. Change me! Amen.