Have you ever walked into a room filled with people and the atmosphere in the room is almost palpable? And have you ever walked into a situation like that in which that atmosphere wasn’t too great?
You and I have the ability to change the very atmosphere in a room like that. When we walk in, we walk in armed with weapons of mass transformation. We simply need to use what has been given to each of us.
Proverbs is a book of poetic wisdom written by the wisest man who ever walked Earth other than Jesus. Solomon’s words cross time, distance and culture to prove true every time.
And in chapter 15, verses 1 and 30, he spells out for us some basic ways we can transform those we encounter. So, here are his three easy ways that you and I can immediately begin to shift atmospheric conditions in people.
1) Speak gentle words.
Solomon points out that when we speak with gentle words from humble hearts, we deflect anger in people. Ever notice that the person who does not raise their voice or escalate their rhetoric is often the person who seems like the most sensible, mature person in the room? I know that our recent American election process seemed to prove otherwise, but when it comes to everyday, real life situations, Solomon is spot on.
Want to change the atmosphere? Choose a calm tone and soothing words. Keep things positive. Keep them thoughtful and kind. Speak gentle words.
2) Smile at people.
Solomon tells us in the first part of verse 30 that, “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart;” When you smile at someone, you let them know that things are okay and they need not fear you. When you share a cheerful look with others, they tend to respond in kind.
People get enough scowls in life… from their boss or co-workers… from their kids… from the person checking them out at the register of a retail store. But I’ve noticed that when I look someone in the eyes and smile all the from my heart and out through my eyes and mouth, it eases tension in them. They perk up when they realize I’m not against them. And that brings a little joy to their heart.
Let the first thing people notice about you is that you smile… a lot! Take that cheerful look with you everywhere and bring joy to people’s hearts with it.
3) Share some good news.
Most of the news in our world is depressing. “If it bleeds, it leads” is the motto of print, radio and television media outlets. Apparently it is the motto of a ton of individuals on Facebook as well.
People need good news. They need a heartwarming story with a happy ending. They need something positive to put this world in perspective.
In the second part of verse 30, Solomon instructs us that “good news makes for good health.” When all people talk about is the bad, and the negative in this world, then vantage points get skewed. But when you and I inject good news into the conversation, well we start spreading hope and generate a more healthy world view.
Plenty of studies have shown that people who think good thoughts experience better health, while those who think negative thoughts experience lesser health. Which do you want for yourself and others? I don’t know about you, but I want health for me & everyone I come across.
For the record, Solomon lets us know that the opposite of these is true is well. Walk into a room and speak harshly with people… expect tempers to flare. And in the same way, while he doesn’t state it there in that verse, he corroborates the principle elsewhere… that a sad countenance will drag others down with it… and bad news lowers people’s abilities to fight off anything.
I’ve Got The Power
We have been given ability with our eyes, our lips and our tongues to change the very emotional and spiritual atmosphere of a person or group of people. And for those of us who claim to be Christ-followers, or Christians… Christ-like ones, when we walk into the room, we bring Jesus with us. And we know He can turn a situation around in an instant. We can, too, if we will allow Him to live and love through us.
So let’s go into our homes, our workplaces, our classrooms, our communities and change the atmosphere with our gentle words, smiling and some good news. In the end, we won’t just report the weather, we’ll create it!