The kids cut out the shapes of a sword and of a bandaid. Words had been flying, tears flowing. We posted the cutouts where we could all see them to remind us that our words can hurt or heal. They can sting and cut, or they can strengthen and build.
Our words are powerful! What is said is important, but how our words are said is equally important. Tones are the packaging that words come in. They impact our conversations and our relationships.
Have you taken time to listen to the tone in your home or classroom or workplace lately? I did. I listened to those around me, and I paid closer attention to what came out of my own mouth.
Taking inventory of the words spoken around us is a good exercise, especially when we inventory ourselves too. Words and tones help create the atmosphere around us.
Sometimes we don’t even realize what has crept in or what is missing. Tones of disapproval, sarcasm, or annoyance can wrap the words we say, impacting the way they are received. They can create an edge of hostility. Or tones can reflect kindness, caring or gratitude, bringing the opposite attitude into our shared spaces. Tones can imply so much.
Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer
turns away wrath, but a harsh word
stirs up anger” (NIV).
Our world is filled with a lot of harsh words these days. You and I can be the agents of calm and peace as we tend to our words and our tones intentionally. We are impacting and influencing lives and atmospheres around us as we choose kindness in our tones and gentleness in our words. We can help create a softer atmosphere. It’s an investment worth making.
Father God, Thank you that Your Word gives us everyday guidance, even in how we speak to one another. In these changing times I want the atmosphere around me to create a space where others can refuel to face the challenges of the day. Please help me to be aware of my words. Help me to inventory not only my words but also the tones I wrap them in. May I be a change agent to move the bar higher as I speak softly and kindly. May I model words and tones that help bring calm to the atmosphere around me. Thank you that You are my strength in this and that You will help me. I ask this in the strong name of Jesus, Amen.
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