How you speak reveals who you are


I’d prepared all my stock answers, polished my shoes and arrived early. I was expecting a standard interview.

I was welcomed and ushered to a table. On it was a mysterious envelope.

Four others sat down – the other job candidates. A man came in and smiled. “Open the envelope. You’ve got thirty minutes.”

The woman to my left opened it and read aloud:

“Your plane is crashing into the Saharan desert. Grab five items from the plane’s attached inventory to survive. Decide between you which five you’ll take.”

The interviewers wanted to see effective team communication... but I didn’t know what to do.

Quick Tongue

Should I be bold and lead the group discussion? Or would that be arrogant, so I should sit back? How did they want me to communicate?

While this was a forced situation, our communication really matters. This is why the apostle James speaks so much about our tongues.

“Take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19

I didn’t get the job. But the exercise pressed home James’ point: how someone speaks reveals a lot about who they are.

Quick Ears

Most jobs will involve some form of meeting. All jobs involve communication of some kind. 

Being ‘quick to speak’ reveals a confidence in ourselves, our answers, our understanding of the situation.

Being ‘quick to listen’ reveals a mistrust of ourselves (Jeremiah 17:9), a desire to place others first (Philippians 2:3), and a lack of anger (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

It reveals a heart changed by the gospel.

I have fifteen hours of meetings next week and even more hours talking to my colleagues.

If how I speak reveals who I am, I may have no better opportunity to show who I have become in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).