For the last couple weeks I’ve been dealing with upper respiratory issues and sinus issues that have led to throat issues and coughing issues. I’ve got issues.
These issues have made me keenly aware of the fact that I rely heavily on my voice for what I do. It seems an understatement that the voice is essential for a preacher, but I take my voice for granted so much of the time. Until you lose a gift like that, you don’t realize how much you talk, sing, preach, yell, whisper, etc.
It has been truly difficult to perform my duties as ministers while talking has been difficult. I have had to cancel plans to lead worship at an event. I figured they didn’t want to be led in a chorus of “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog”, since all I could do was croak. I preached a wedding though it was painful and my voice squeaked from time to time. I have had to preach and teach while drinking copious amounts of water just to get through.
What if I couldn’t talk? Would it make a difference?
Jeremiah said this concerning himself:
If I say, “I will not mention him,
or speak any more in his name,”
there is in my heart as it were a burning fire
shut up in my bones,
and I am weary with holding it in,
and I cannot.
I am fairly certain that people would begin to notice if I could no longer speak. Me, the outspoken social butterfly, mute? I think I, too, would explode if I were not able to proclaim the messages God gives me to proclaim or sing praises to the One who inhabits our praise. I would be a pitiable person indeed if I weren’t able to share the goodness of salvation through Jesus with others.
Yet there are many who have a voice yet use it for everything except bringing life to others. We use our voices to root for our favorite teams and chastise the opposition. We debate politics. We curse the weatherman. We chat about so many things that don’t matter. We tear others down through ridicule and gossip and slander.
When people wonder why evangelism is dying, we only need to point to our lips, and by them to our hearts.
Jesus said this:
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.”
How do you use your voice? Are you proclaiming the gospel? That job isn’t just for preachers. Are you building people up or tearing them down?
Your voice is an expression of what you value. Your voice is a gift given to bring life and tel others about your Father in Heaven. Jesus used his voice to bring life and tell of his Father. Be like him.