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Mar 25, 2018 | Tony Hunt

The Language of Attitude

Timeless keys to effective interpersonal communication.

  1. Inflection matters.
  2. Facial expression matters.
  3. Body language matters.
  4. Knowing a person’s heart, motivation, and reputation matters.

Paul’s relational communication model. 2 Corinthians 10:1, 10-11

  • Under the umbrella of Christ’s attitude Paul engages the church of Corinth. (1a)
    • Humility (inner being)- a primary attitude of considering others needs before himself. Philippians 2:1-4
      • His ambition and effort was for others gain. (3a)
      • His pride (vs. conceit) was not about himself but in the growth of others. (3a)
      • He valued others above his own standing. (3b)
      • His interests were about protecting the interests of others. (4)
    • Gentleness (outer expression)- his primary approach in dealing with people—both the engaged seeker and the cynical doubter.
      • We are called to respond to the person (a seeker or the cynic) asking questions about our faith with a spirit of gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…”
      • To the person who seems adversarial to our faith or to you as a person, our response of gentle kindness can expose their spirit and perhaps win them over—minimally diffuse their anger. Romans 12:20 “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
  • Paul’s communication was different in person verses his letters. (10)
    • He is direct and bold in his letters. (1b)
      • It is best to not overelaborate on paper lest your motive be misunderstood.
      • Paul in his letters would insert “heart appeals” between direct points.
      • Authoritative writings require concise and direct language so as to provide clear directives.
    • Face to face he was more timid in spirit. (1b)
      • He wasn’t, by his own personal evaluation, a great motivational speaker. (10b)
      • His public speaking seemed to not “amount to anything”. (10c)
  • Integrity of words and life are the greatest value in relationships and ministry. (11)

Partnering in God’s work together. 2 Corinthians 10:2-6

  • Paul hoped to return to a restored partnership. (2)
    • Under the umbrella of Christ’s attitude. (1a)
    • Life by Christ’s standards and not by the worlds approach. (2b)
  • The church is fighting a battle, but not as the world fights. (3)
    • Our weapons are meant to give life verses the world’s—which destroys.
    • Our weapons are inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit—a divine power! (4)
      • Power to demolish what seems impenetrable—strongholds. (4b)
      • Power to demolish arguments with words and spirit that confuse the world. (5a)
      • Power to confront any pretention that defies the knowledge of God. (5b)
      • Power to take every thought captive that would seek to render you ineffective. (5c)
      • Power to be part of God’s punishment of evil. (6) 

Proper evaluation of each other. 2 Corinthians 10:7-9

  • It’s not based on appearances. (7a)
  • Be careful to not be so confident that you belong to Christ at the expense of determining that others do not. (7b)
  • Boast about building each other up, not in another’s failure. (8) 
  • It is not good or wise to compare yourself to others. (12)
  • If we boast it should be boasting about God’s work in all of us. (17)
  • The right attitude towards each other is so that each other’s faith will continue to grow and that the gospel can continue to advance beyond us. (15b-16a) 


Philippians 2:5 “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…”

Series Information

2 Corinthians is a letter between Paul and a church that had a fractured relationship.  He addresses many relational and deep personal issues that get below the surface and deal with heart of the matter. This book is such a good model on navigating challenging personal and relational issues!