11 Feb 2015

The Voice Of God

Lyrics for I Love You Lord By Petra
I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul rejoice!
Take joy my King
In what You hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear

Quite often in my private worship time, the song written above comes to mind and I just begin singing aloud.  The focus of this week’s blog is our “voice”.

It is a fact that we are created in the image of God.  As a result everything about us should reflect Him. Everything means not just our looks, but our actions as well.   A person’s voice can have a greater impact than the actual words they are saying.  I often say that social media gives us the opportunity to hide our true feelings and intentions.  I tell those that I am responsible for leading that I will not deal with or attempt to solve conflict through any means of social media, i.e. text, Facebook, email, etc.   When it is not possible to hear an individual’s voice, attitudes and emotions can remain undetected.

The tone of a person’s voice can be soothing, comforting, and have the potential to ease the tension in any given situation.  The voice, just like words, has the ability to build up or tear down.  I am making a conscious effort to consider and make adjustments to the tone of my voice in the same manner in which I filter my words. 

I do not wish to give you the impression that I feel that there is never just cause for your tone to be firm, or the volume of your tone to be raised.  However, I have witnessed the difference a soft voice can make in a negative situation.  It has been proven that infants respond to a soft, calming voice.  There are times when there is no immediate solution to a circumstance or a problem, but hearing an encouraging word, in a comforting tone can make a world of difference. 

There are circumstances when there is no immediate solution to the problem but just speaking to the individual with a word of comfort in a calm and gentle manner can make a world of difference to the individual.  The Bible does not say that we are in sin if we argue.  However it is the manner in which the individuals speak and conduct themselves that determines the outcome of that argument.

I make a conscious effort to monitor the tone of my voice in the same manner that I filter and adjust the words I am about to say.  Two scriptures in Proverbs come to mind that speak to my school of thought. Proverbs 15: 1 (NIV), “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”.    The word of God is saying that gentleness will turn away anger, whereas harsh words stir it up.  Why add insult to injury? You must use a different approach if you want a different outcome!  Proverbs 21: 19 (KJV), “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman”. 

Although this passage mentions the female gender it goes for males as well.  I believe we can all identify through personal experience that we have encountered a person whose voice is so agitating and harsh that we would rather be anywhere but in their presence.  Instead of the harsh tones that have the potential to repel and detract, why not endeavor to practice tones that will attract and affirm.  When you read the lyrics to the song at the opening of the blog, your mind probably only associated the lyrics with that song.  I would like to propose that because we know that God is not only watching us at all times, He is also listening to us.  If we kept the lyrics to that song in the forefront of our minds, it would become natural to speak in a tone that was pleasing to the hearer. 

Something that becomes natural is not easily turned on and turned off when placed in various environments or when certain ones are watching.  When people have an encounter with us they should derive, “what you see is what you get, and what you hear is what you feel”.   Our words nor our tone should be piercing and unpleasant, but they should be gratifying and pleasing.  God wants the voice that you use to speak to Him, to be that same voice that you use to speak to others.