Protecting Your Voice

If you don’t know when and how to speak, you lose your voice before you reach the floor. – Rev Dr. Deirdre Brower-Latz (Principle, Nazarene Theological College, Manchester)

Every one of us has a voice. That is, we each have a unique story or experience that can be shared with others. We may have an experience that will give wisdom to a decision, or perception that can bring clarity to a dialogue. Whatever it is, each person on this planet has a voice with the ability to encourage and edify the rest of humanity. Too often, however, that voice is lost.

With a population of 7.5 billion people, there is a great deal of noise in our world. Before the internet, sharing your voice to a large group required radio or television. Today, Facebook, YouTube, and other forms of social media offer most of us the opportunity to reach a very large crowd. This is absolutely a double-edged sword. Although the social media platform has allowed us to reach a larger audience, with almost 2 billion people using social media that audience is flooded with voices all speaking at the same time. I was raised in a large household and I learned that if you wanted to be heard, you had to be louder than the crowd. Unfortunately, most people seem to be practicing that same strategy and our world has been filled with a deafening noise. Our voices quickly get lost among the noise.

This doesn’t mean that we cannot be heard, or that the world is not listening. It simply means that we must reconsider our strategy for communication. Our voice is important. As such, it should be treated with respect and good stewardship. We need to take a serious look at how we communicate and consider whether we are sharing our voice or simply adding to the noise.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:6 NIV)

When you speak, are your words “full of grace” or are they full of aggression and offense? The later seems to receive immediate response, but never communicates a message that actually benefits anyone. When you speak, do you do so with consideration so that your words are pertinent to the conversation at hand, or do your words add confusion? In order to know how to answer someone, you must first listen to, and understand, what they are saying. Do you take time to do so? Plato is credited as saying, “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29 NASB).

When you speak, is it pertinent to the moment? Do you speak in order, or do you take the liberty to speak out of order because you feel your voice must be heard? You see, when you speak out of order, or out of context, you create noise. That noise drowns out other voices. So, what you really do, when you speak out of order is become a thief who robs others of their voice. This, unfortunately, is so common today that it seems to be accepted as standard practice. How sad.

As much as we want to speak, I believe that we also want to hear the voices that give us hope and encourage us through edification and the sharing of wisdom. As we catch up to technology, we will find that we are becoming deaf to the noise and it is only the voices that are willing to speak with eloquence, humility, and order that will be heard. I pray that you would consider how important your voice really is and treat it as such so that it might speak life into our world.

Grafted by His Grace,

Pastor Raul Granillo