Proverbs 15:1 NIV A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Tone of voice: we can understand what is being said by the words, the tone, and the speed. The same words can be said a number of different ways of expressing our thoughts as anger, a question, love, baby talk, monotone, bossy, irritation, etc. Even the words, “I love you,” can be conveyed different ways. If it is loud, forceful, angry, it conveys a different meaning than saying it in soft, musical tones. Body language adds emphasis to the message as well.
What tone of voice seems most reasonable when the Lord Jesus addressed some religious leaders?
C1 Luke 11:37-42, 46 NIV When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38 But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal. 39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. 42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. … 46 Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them
C2 Matthew 23:33 WEL You serpents, you generation of vipers. How can you escape the damnation of Gehenna? (Note Gehenna is the place of eternal conscious torment of body and soul).
B2 If the Lord Jesus said it in a rough, harsh tone, it conveys a different meaning than if He spoke it in a matter-of-fact tone.
B3 Personally, I would understand the Lord to be speaking it in a matter-of-fact tone to convict their hearts and warning them what is going to happen to them. A rough tone would be condemning and push them further away from any repentance.
What tone of voice should we use in confronting evil people, evil actions, evil attitudes, etc.?
B1 Typically, a harsh, condemning tone of voice will cause a reaction in people to avoid us and do the opposite of what we said. It pushes us away instead of towards. If one does give in, it seems it would not be complied with from conviction and agreement but rather from fear of the speaker’s bullying.
B2 The quiet voice of conviction will motivate much more.
B3 Our goal is not to have a reaction of rejection but a reaction of change. We don’t want to have them sear their conscious because we are harsh. 2 Timothy 2:25 NLT Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.
Some verses on harsh speech
B1 We Christians are not to give insulting speech and not to return insulting speech to those who insult us: 1 Peter 3:9 NLT Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.
C1 The Greek word for insult is λοιδορία loidoría.
D1 It means to reproach, insult, slander, railing. It can be verbal, written, or other ways.
D2 Railing means: to utter bitter complaint or vehement denunciation (often followed by at or against): (Source)
C2 Example of the Lord Jesus: 1 Peter 2:23 CSB when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. (Note insulted is the Greek word ἀντιλοιδορέω antiloidoréō and is based on the same word as in 1 Peter 3:9).
B2 Proverbs 12:16 NET A fool’s annoyance is known at once, but the prudent overlooks an insult.
B3 1 Corinthians 4:12 NIV We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it
Some Bible verses about speech
B1 Colossians 4:6 CSB Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.
B2 Proverbs 10:32 CSB The lips of the righteous know what is appropriate, but the mouth of the wicked, only what is perverse.
B3 Proverbs 12:18-19 NLT Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. 19 Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.
B4 Ephesians 4:29 NLT Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Some examples of people in the Bible
B1 Positive examples:
C1 Daniel 2:14-15 CSB Then Daniel responded with tact and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon. 15 He asked Arioch, the king’s officer, “Why is the decree from the king so harsh? ” Then Arioch explained the situation to Daniel.
C2 Paul and his team: 1 Corinthians 4:12-13 CSB we labor, working with our own hands. When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we respond graciously. Even now, we are like the scum of the earth, like everyone’s garbage.
C3 Paul: Romans 15:18 RSV For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has wrought through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed,
B2 Negative examples:
C1 King Rehoboam lost the kingdom: 1 Kings 12:13 NLT But Rehoboam spoke harshly to the people, for he rejected the advice of the older counselors
C2 The Lord Jesus rebuked those who insulted Mary: Mark 14:3-5 NLT Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head. 4 Some of those at the table were indignant. “Why waste such expensive perfume?” they asked. 5 “It could have been sold for a year’s wages and the money given to the poor!” So they scolded her harshly.
C3 Beware of this person!!! Psalm 28:3 NLT Do not drag me away with the wicked—with those who do evil—those who speak friendly words to their neighbors while planning evil in their hearts.
I have made many errors regarding this. God has many times chastened me, and I praise Him for it. With God’s help, we all can speak in the manner and tone as our Lord Jesus did. He spoke the truth, but He did not so with harshness, insults, or slander.
A Few Thoughts About Jesus’s Tone of Voice
Posted by Choco in 2019 at 07:47
Labels: Christian response to insults, Christian speech, Christians and tone of voice, Insults, Jesus example in speech, Tone of voice