Working with kids I end up talking a lot about tone of voice. When I started nannying again five and a half years ago I started to notice a lack of respect had become common with a lot of kids. Whether on the playground or the ballfields I was shocked to hear how kids talked to each other and even adults. In this I have realized how much I value someone’s tone in how they speak to me to, and I have come face to face with the many times I have been lazy with my tone. The weight of the responsibility of shaping young lives has served as a mirror to convict me of how I need to be aware of my tone also. And as the kids get older it’s talked about even more. Teaching someone how to argue with respect has been eye opening for how I handle conflict. Five days a week I find myself talking about tone in the language of a three year old, a nine year old, and a forty year old. I have made lots of apologizes and I’ve become even more aware of how tone has effected my life over the years. Up until my early twenties I almost always thought people were mad at me. If someone gave a “weird” look or I perceived something funny in their voice my first instinct was that it was my fault. Most likely I was just reading too much into everything and I have learned that those of us who are pleasers struggle with this. It wasn’t until a couple days ago that I realized the tone I had assigned to Jesus while reading the New Testament. On more than one occasion He asks His followers why they are still so dense. Over and over He asks people why their faith is so small. When I read this it is always in a frustrated tone that reveals I perceive Jesus' disappointment. And while I know He is not proud when our faith is small I also know that He is love personified which means even in our shortcomings He loves. When we struggle to feel faith or make the next step He’s called us to, He is patient and He is kind. If the Bible is true, and I believe it, then as love God is not easily angered. Even when I act a fool, He keeps no record of wrong. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. But deep down I realize I haven’t believed this because it is obvious when I read the Gospels in my head and He is getting on to His followers and disciples. When I read it I have always assumed a tone of frustration, the kind that kicks a downed person even more. Because often our tones can compound the shame that others are feeling. So this morning I’m asking Jesus to show me His heart and reveal what His tone was as I read “Jesus knew
what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? ‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear? Don’t you remember anything at all? When I fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterward?” Mark 8:17-19 So, when you’re reading the words of Jesus, what’s the tone in His voice? How has your past or your personal make up effected how you see The One Who Loves You Most?
I’m so thankful we serve a God who is patient and kind with us and who loves us enough to take away all wrong ideas we have of Him. That He want us to get to know Him and leads us in refining our concept of Him so we can daily see a more complete picture of who He is.
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