So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
Colossians 3:12-14 (The Message)
I had a discussion with a client today about the value of warmth in relationships. I define warmth as effective non-verbal communication. We determine warmth by eye contact, smiles and facial expressions, body posture, and physical touch. Obviously, warmth can be effectively expressed verbally, but our reception of the validity of that expression is more powerfully received non-verbally. It seems that we are conditioned to accept actions more readily than words. Further, we do not always trust the words of people, but we will trust our own interpretations of actions toward us.
Consequently, we can convey so much through smiles and eye contact with others. Children instinctively pick up on smiles and eye contact, even as infants. They learn to trust those expressions long before they understand language.
Finally, physical touch anchors our words. When we speak with someone and put a hand on their shoulder, or perhaps touch their arm, for example, their memory of what we have just said is greatly enhanced.
So, warmth is important in our interactions with others. Being aware of expressing warmth is an important part of those communications.
Prayer: Let our warmth toward others be genuine and well expressed, Amen