Saturday, October 22, 2011

When A Speaker Communicates With Conviction

I am always struck when I hear someone speak who is absolutely convinced about his topic. Obviously almost every speaker attempts to do this all the time. The sad truth is that I don't hear it often enough. If there was an award for most speeches listened to I might win it. The strange thing is, when I hear a speech that has little conviction I hardly notice the lack of conviction. It just seems like a nice speech (sometimes well done, sometimes poorly done). But when I hear someone speak who truly believes what they are saying I am overwhelmed with the impact it has on me. I notice their conviction about the topic almost as much as I notice what they actually say about the topic. It shows us again how much of communication is non-verbal. One of my favourite preaching stories illustrates the point I am trying to make. I think we Christians could have far more impact if we made sure we truly believed what we were saying before we said it. That means doing our homework first in order to be able to share from true conviction. For me personally, this means that before I speak I need to make sure the message is in my heart, not just on paper. It means I need to spend time in prayer and in study and not come out to share until the "word is like a fire in my bones and I cannot keep quiet" (until I am so passionate and convinced about it that I can't help but share).

"David Hume, 18th century British philosopher who rejected historic Christianity, once met a friend hurrying along a London street and asked where he was going. The friend said he was off to hear George Whitfield preach. "But surely you don't believe what Whitfield preaches do you?" "No, I don't, but he does." "