“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”
– James 1:21
As we continue our study of words and how we use them, I want you to consider ninety percent of what you say to people is all about tone. Yes, your tone! This is something I learned from my Grandpa Pursley, who is a linguist and taught Spanish for many years. When a baby learns a language, the first thing they learn is tone, not words. When we speak to babies in America, “goo goo ga ga” may carry a different tone than in Thailand or Nepal. The tone of our voice can be distinguished by our little ones.
When my grandpa was teaching me Spanish, he taught me tone first. With some Spanish words and phrases, he would guide me to speak in a deeper tone versus my high-pitched English tone. Our tone is an important concept that follows us into adulthood. When you’re trying to remain calm in a situation and it’s your turn to speak, a soft and matter-of-fact tone will calm others around you. If you’re trying to work something out with your family or team, your tone is critical.
Friend, it is our assignment to build people up. Don’t be that guy or that gal who tells it like it is. Don’t use your words in a derogatory tone to gossip, lie, or speak bad things about other people. As you build people up, it will begin to guide your life. Compliment and encourage people. If someone inspires you because of something that is impressive to you, tell them it’s impressive! It’s a great way to meet and connect with people. Say “thank you” when someone does something nice for you, even if they’re supposed to. Express to them the heart of Jesus through your love and appreciation.
Father, show me how to consider my tone as I am speaking to others.
Would you consider yourself an encourager? How do you show others your appreciation?
If you’re unable to attend your local church or need some additional weekly inspiration, be sure to tune into Hour of Power every Sunday at 11:00 a.m. PT on TBN or watch online at hourofpower.org/episode.