Authentic Communication

By Akosua Frempong, Ph.D.

by Danielle Dolin

Have you ever been in a situation where you said something that wasn’t really what you wanted to say? We’ve all been there! As Christians, communicating authentically can be one of the most challenging yet best things we can do for our relationships. It’s another way we can communicate well and enhance our valuable connections.

Say What You Truly Want to Say, in Love

As author Quentin Schultze says in “Communicating for Life: Christian Stewardship in Community and Media,” speaking authentically means saying what’s in our hearts. But it doesn’t stop there. According to Schultze, we must communicate our hearts to others while considering the idea of love for God and neighbor. That’s to say that we should speak to others in a way that we would like them to communicate to us: “Do unto others as you’d like to be done unto you” (Luke 6:31).

Communicate for Peace

Additionally, Schultze says that we must communicate for shalom. Shalom means peace or wholeness. According to Schultze, therefore, when we speak authentically to one another, we bring a piece of heaven to earth. That is shalom. Also, Schultze says, “The love of God and the responsibility to neighbors are the very fabric of ‘shalom.’” When we’re communicating with others, we must remember this.

Communicate for Justice

In addition to communicating for shalom, Schultze says we should speak for justice. So, through our communication efforts, we must also create justice environments. Creating environments of justice is possible with the help of God. With His help, we can care for creation, especially during culturally challenging times, through our communication.

Moreover, authentic communication encourages others to view us as genuine- someone they can relate to. People can genuinely relate to us when we authentically communicate because we’ll often speak what may be on their minds and what their hearts identify with. By connecting with the hearts of those we’re in a relationship with, we would have left an indelible mark on them and for Jesus Christ. Christian family, friends, and colleagues, especially, would forever remember that truth that you spoke so honestly, that transformed their perspective on life for the better. In this way, we would have helped them fulfill the call to “be transformed by the renewing of the mind.” (Romans 12:2).

As Christians who value relationships, we’ll do well to consider what Schultze says: We must speak for life- and in the most literal of senses.

We needn’t wait any longer. Let’s start now: Let’s say what we truly mean in love and constantly communicate for peace and justice.

Akosua Frempong, Ph.D., is a freelance journalist with the Evangelical Press Association. She has worked in journalism on three continents. As part of her journalism experience, she has worked as a broadcast journalist, anchor, and producer. Dr. Frempong is an adjunct journalism professor at Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Moreover, she is the founder of Listening Ear Communications, a company that provides excellent, professional journalism to various news media organizations and publications.

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