Set The Tone


A young man stepped to the podium to sing a solo in the morning service.   I sat there on the front row, and along with the congregation, awaited a song that would cause us to look heavenward.  Oh boy!  The music was in one key and he was in another.  He left the music way behind and nothing fit together. Instead of causing up to be lifted heavenward, we all wished he would hurry and finish,which he did, way before the background music!

In a conversation I learned that the man loved to sing but was tone death.  He wanted us to be receptive but the wrong tone killed the whole thing.    The problem was not the message but the tone.  Tone has to do with using different elements: volume, speed, pitch of voice, body language and gestures, etc., to name a few.

We are in a time when we have to boldly stand for truth.  BOLDLY!   I refuse to accept what the Bible does not accept.  I understand everyone is not going to like my stand or agree with me. What I don’t want to do is add fuel to the fire by my tone.    We live in a time of too much anger and hostility.  Couples scream and yell at each other.  Politicians berate one another.   Christians “tell each other off”.   Facebook posts are often rudely stated.  People are quick to give the middle finger of fellowship.  Parents declare that the only way their children will listen is if they yell.   (By the way, that is only true if you conditioned them that way.)   God is saying to sing in one key and we sing in whatever key we want.  We have a tone problem.

I don’t want to be an angry, ugly, red-faced, condescending, name-calling, arrogant child of God.  I want to stand boldly for God.  I want to have the best relationships I can.  I want to be a good communicator of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I might be rejected but I don’t want it to be because of my tone.    I want to set the right tone.  How about you?


“A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.” – Proverbs 15:1

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