“All right, Sally. Good talking with you, hope our patient does well.”
My daughter was smiling at me as I completed my phone call with one of my dermatology colleagues. We were discussing a complicated case for which I had just reviewed the biopsy findings and were discussing treatment options.
“Dad, you did your Doctor’s voice!”
“What do you mean?”
She chuckled. “Whenever you are talking to another doctor, your voice takes on this mellifluous tone and you speak very precisely, no pauses.”
“Wow, do I really?” I lowered my voice on the last word and looked at her with a serious gaze.
“Dad! You’re doing it again!”
My daughter was correct. Whenever I speak to a professional colleague, my brain clicks into high gear and I change the tone of my voice and diction. I heard my father, a dentist, do the same when he was speaking to other professionals. It was such a contrast to his usual banter with his friends and family. Like father, like son.
It is not only with my professional colleagues. I do the same when I am speaking to Christian brothers and sisters. My speech slows and I pause slightly before my answers, carefully choosing my words. It is not my usual rushed and pressured speech that I display with friends and family. Three different speech patterns for different audiences. Why do I do this? Am I being disingenuous?
Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.
Colossians 4:6 (NLT)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Colossians 4:6 (ESV)
It is our intentions and attitude that matters. The Apostle Paul, the greatest missionary of the early Christian Church practiced and preached this, as evidenced by his writings above. His sermons completely differed depending on the audience he was addressing. From listeners who were earnestly seeking to learn, hostile audiences, and the curious-all received a very different sermon as elegantly documented in the Book of Acts. But the common link in all of these sermons was his unwavering message to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ. He was willing to be all things to all people as long as his message was undiluted.
In the world of today, there are many voices that are fighting to be heard. Angry voices demanding justice for racial inequality, anguished voices that are seeking comfort for the loss of loved ones, and anxious voices worried about economic uncertainty. There are many voices but the message and question are the same. Why doesn’t God do something about all of this? Where is God’s voice in all of this?
God speaks to all believers in many voices. He is the wise Father, the obedient Son, and the comforting Spirit. God is speaking to all of us but we have to be willing to listen. All of His voices are good if we allow Him to speak through us to be salt and light to this hurting world.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.