Thursday, August 10, 2006

"The wise are known for their understanding. Their pleasant words make them better teachers" (Proverbs 16.21, NCV).

Two days ago, I shared with you some personal insights from Proverbs 16.1-9 about how God ultimately directs our steps.

Last night, I enjoyed Bible class with the Young Families class at Woodward Park. Ironically, the class focused on wise/unwise speech from Proverbs 16-18. Of the many verses we discussed last night, admonishing us to speak wisely, the aformentioned verse in 16.21 gripped me.

Have you ever sat at the feet of a preacher/teacher who spoke unpleasantly? Back in the day, "cutting edge" had more to do with tone and volume than with progressive ideas. The revival-style preaching/teaching was best measured by higher volume, sharper tone and stinging conviction.

In contrast, I've always tried to preach conversationally -- not to minimize the necessity, at times, for bold, courageous, convicting speech -- because conversational preaching/teaching has always come across to me more pleasantly.

Listen to Paul as he weighs in: "When you talk, you should always be kind and pleasant so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should" (Colossians 4.6, NCV).

I pray that my preaching/teaching will never compromise truth, but the conveying of truth will always come in a pleasant tone.

So how is your tone today? Remember, the words you say and the way you say them speak volumes about your faith.