WATCH YOUR TONE, young man!

JAMES 1:6 If you put on a good show of being religious and do not control your tongue (including it’s tonal content) you fake yourself out and your heart is deceived. He who controls his tongue and uses it to build up the brethren is mightier that he who conquers a city.

This blog is for myself and possibly for you in improving God’s control over our communication. It is not primarily intended to use in judging others except for the need to pray for those who despitefully use us that they may see their problem and be delivered from all the damage sin produces.

We are to avoid the appearance of evil not just the evil itself.  In our depraved state, we love to inflict pain and we assert control over others, while convincing ourselves that we have nothing wrong, “All I said was-blah,blah,blah.” However our tone went far beyond the words to suggest that we considered the other person to be an idiot, ( the Lord considers this murder) or that the other person is being irritating, or that we feel that they are beneath us etc. We can cause hurt and pretend to ourselves and affirm to others that our intentions were pure and neutral.

Most of communications are not in the words but in the facial expression or tone of voice or posture with which they were delivered. However, these can be denied and ignored. Thus we can stab others and come out looking good to ourselves and others, but does God look on the outward appearance or on the thoughts and intents of the heart?

I have come to believe that the primary area for this games playing is in the issue of basic life information. The controlling person wants to know every little detail of the other’s activities to the point that it is irritating and the other feels controlled. “I just want to be part of your life and to be included because I care”. They create a situation where others feel guilty if they don’t share and controlled if they do . When others ask them for any information, they give as little as possible and in an irritated tone “I’m busy and you should already know that don’t you remember I told you blah blah blah .

Practice delivering directions: where things are at, when things will happen, in fact ANY thoughts or facts in a pleasant tone. I’ve noticed that everyone has the ability to control their tone because the whiny put down irritated tone only comes on when they are talking to the ones they want to, any can get away with, affect. Remember that the tone switch is subconscious, although arising from sinful urges, and you will have to listen carefully to spot yourself doing it.

I’ve seen this come out strongly in people dealing with older demented family members who have to ask the same question over and over again or make the same comment over again. With them and with children we may need to help them do the best they can to think for themselves but still WATCH OUR TONE.

Giving it up will leave a void in which we were trying to make up for God’s slowness, in fixing the people around us, by pressuring them to see themselves our way through tonal communication. So fill the void with thanking God for the irritating people in our lives, asking Him to bless them, finding ways to minister to them, and if guided by God, talking directly and clearly to them about our concerns, apologizing for our past approaches, and being much more open to give out information ourselves. Remember that our heart’s are deceitful above all thing and desperately want to be wicked but now can’t just do deliberate open wicked acts so have sought out wickedness they can pretend just isn’t even there. Our hearts will not give up easily but if we genuinely ask the Holy Spirit to convict, He will convince us that the only way to see others change is by ceding control of their heart to the Holy Spirit and gaining more control of ourselves.

I remember a fellow Christian counselor whom I invited over for a meal and fellowship. He asked an exhaustive list of questions about me, my background, my approach to counseling, and as a brother in Christ seeking to know and be known I answered as best I could. I then ask a superficial starting question in order to return the favor and begin to get to know him more. He jumped up declaring that it was time to go, and was obviously irritated by my wanting a two way relationship!

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