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When we have something we want to say it’s tempting to just focus on the message we’re trying to deliver. And certainly we should give thoughtful attention to sharing our hearts with clarity and depth. At the same time, effective communication is a two-way street and we must also consider our audience for our message to have the impact we desire.

On the one hand, simply telling people what they want to hear is not a true dialogue. It’s an echo chamber of inbred ideas that leaves one ignorant and blind. Meaningful dialogue requires us to know and be willing to share our own unique perspectives. And, to be sure, simply the ability to articulate our thoughts intelligently goes a long way.

But we inadvertently just become noise others soon tune out when we don’t consider our audience.

For instance, parents might have profound truths they would like to share with their kids. But it likely won’t make sense if they don’t also consider their children’s stage of development.

Likewise, when we don’t consider each other’s background, temperament, and story, we’re likely just speaking words at each other without any real impact. Of course, we won’t know each other perfectly and we will still miss the mark from time to time. But knowing our audience is taking the time to consider the things important to them and perhaps even learning their language of connection.

This was Paul’s approach as he tried to find common ground with everyone to spread the Good News of Christ. While keeping his bearings in Christ, he was willing to adapt his approach to fit the needs of each audience.

And we can learn from this approach as well – standing firm in offering the gift God has given us, while also tailoring it to suit the needs of each audience. We’re just making noise otherwise.

Speak with boldness the message that is yours to give. And take the time to know your audience to maximize your impact.

Photo by Terren Hurst on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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