Body Language

<<posture and gestures>>

This involves both conscious and unconscious non-verbal communication conveyed by various parts of the body to express or emphasise an idea or emotion, attitude or feeling.

A smile can lift another's spirit

As we go through life we routinely 'read' the gestures and postures of others without thinking about it. Such behaviour includes facial expressions, body posture, gestures, eye movement, touch and the use of interpersonal space which can be either with or without accompanying speech and reinforce or negate any words spoken. Nehemiah's sad facial expression reflected his broken heart that Jerusalem was in ruins (Neh 2:1-3). Bowing before a higher dignity is a recognised form of humility and the raising of hands in worship is an outward expression of an inward attitude. The physical connection of holding hands with one's spouse is a common way to express love. Many of these indicators are wholesome expressions and convey recognised meaning while others are devious and unclear. The Bible mentions some such as those who wink their eyes, signal with their feet and motion with their fingers besides (Prov 6:13, 16:30). As believers, we should be aware that some gestures are offensive and rude and thus refrain from using them.

Sometimes the body language can consciously be masked, so it gives a different message to the verbal words, but generally the body signals are the true reflection of a persons emotions and intentions regardless of the words to the contrary.

See also: communication, hands.