Tuesday's Tip to bENCOURAGEd...
Communication is more how we say something than what we say. While the words that we speak are very important, the tone that we use reveals the heart behind the actual words. As "a work in progress" I am not proud that there have been times when I have found myself rolling my eyes, sighing with annoyance, or even snickering under my breath only to negatively defuse a positive comment, compliment, or statement. I have learned this valuable truth...
The tone is never alone.
I remember reading a Bible story to my daughter when she was younger when this truth grabbed a hold of me. It was brought to my attention how tone has never been alone. Abraham is called the “Father of Faith” for many reasons, but one that I was not aware of was the connection between His tone and the words that He spoke. Interestingly, it was his wife Sarah who did the exact opposite. When God's plan was revealed to Abraham and Sarah they both laughed, but it was the tone of the laughter that got the attention of their Father.
"Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, "Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?"
(Gen. 17:17 NKJV)
Abraham laughed out of anticipation, because before and after He burst into giggles while asking these questions, He honored God by obeying His commands. Sarah’s laugh was quite different. Sarah tried to hide her laughter under her breath - an action of cynicism or unbelief. Sarah even denied her reaction, but was called out for her tone.
"Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, "After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?" And the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, "Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?" "Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son," But Sarah denied it, saying, "I did not laugh," for she was afraid. And He said, "No, but you did laugh!"
(Gen. 18: 12-15 NKJV)
This should encourage us, because we are not alone in our development of our tone! From Abraham to Sarah and for all of us we are a “work in progress!” All of us must remember that the tone is never alone. When we communicate we must initiate the right tone towards others. This will help us be Inspired; be Productive; be Fulfilled because our words and our responses will work together for us to bENCOURAGEd!
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