But the fruit that comes from having the Holy Spirit in our lives is: love, joy, peace, not giving up, being kind, being good, having faith,being gentle, and being the boss over our own desires. The Law is not against these things Galatians 5:22-23 (New Life Version)
In this next week, I will be going over some characteristics which have been defined as important in the care-giving and counseling fields. These were identified by Robert Carkhuff, a leading theorist on counselor and caregiver training.
I will list these characteristics, then explore each one, and then line it up with the fruits of the Spirit listed in the Bible. Finally, later this week, I will give a summary from the life of Jesus how he embodied these traits.
The characteristics are: Warmth, Empathy, Genuineness, Confrontation, Immediacy, Concreteness, Self-Disclosure, and Respect.
The first is warmth. I define warmth as effective non-verbal communication, because people can see warmth expressed even before a word is said. In fact, people make decisions about a person’s warmth in the first few seconds upon meeting a person unknown to them. I think warmth comes from an inner Joy, one of the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. It is the characteristic that engages people to move toward one another, and it begins to engender trust.
That non-verbal communication is demonstrated in smiles, eye contact, facial expressions and body movement. Think about the things you notice about people, and what draws you to them.
Prayer: Lord, you have given us so many ways as human beings to communicate your love to others. We don’t always even need words, Amen