United Church of God

Treasure Digest: Tone Your Voice

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Treasure Digest

Tone Your Voice

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The tongue can kindle a forest fire! It defiles the whole body; it is an unruly evil and full of poison, God inspired James to write (James 3:5-8). "No man can tame the tongue," he said. That's a frightening thought! But Proverbs 21:23 does state that whoever guards his mouth keeps himself from troubles. Putting these two thoughts together, we recognize that we all make mistakes in our communication, and we can all do better.

The choice of words is important. But note that the same words, spoken with a different tone of voice, take on a whole new meaning. Simple statements such as, "Don't do that," can be spoken in jest, in teasing, as an instruction or as a threat—all depending on the tone of voice.

As a young man I worked for a manager who was extremely offensive. He didn't threaten anyone physically, but he beat a lot of people up with his voice. I resolved never to be like that and to watch my words and my tone of voice.

Paul addressed the need to comfort one another with words in 1 Thessalonians 4:18. How those words are spoken—the tone of voice—will make all the difference.

Observation is how we learn. Pay some attention to the tone of others and to your own. (We are often deaf to our own voices.)

We need to listen to ourselves sometimes. Do we catch the subtle and not-so-subtle way that we change our voices? Does authority creep in? Do we cancel discussion, or are our words fitly spoken (Proverbs 25:11)? Can we be comforters? It's our choice! If we control our tongues and tone our voices, we will reap the benefits and be a blessing to those around us.