Expression through language takes many forms: some processes are representative of our outer voice, some represent our inner voice, and some lie in the overlap between out outer voice and our inner voice.
The Outer voice. The spoken word is the transmission of sound, from one living being to another. “Give me eloquent speech in my mouth before the lion: turn his heart to hate him that fighteth against us,” (Esther (Additions) 1:13).
- Instruction. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29. This is a stern commission, for all: parents, teachers, managers, judges, ministers, and the like. If you have been charged with providing leadership in any way, no matter how subtle, this is your directive. See now how the manner in which one proceeds, in the influencing of others, is of vital importance to the hearer, and to God.
- Song. God, Himself, gave humans the gift of song. Singing is an expression of who we are. Today’s pop music sings of modern lifestyle. This tradition has not changed in thousands of years. Isaiah 12:5 tells us to “sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.” And ponder this fascinating verse: “Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the Lord, because he cometh to judge the earth.” 1 Chronicles 16:33. I promise to address this mysterious teaching in a subsequent book, but for now let us remain. Continuing with our analysis of song, please remember that hundreds of songs arose out of the cotton fields of the deep south of our country. Out of the trauma and shame of slavery, and out of the pure hearts of those held captive by wealthy plantation owners, arose a new and holy history of song. There is much information available about a traditional methodology called spirituals. This type of music takes the form of call and response, and was developed as a (relatively) safe means to express emotion: joy sorrow, fear, tribulation, worship. Eventually, these songs evolved, and were developed into encoded communications and even protests. This information demonstrates the critical importance of words, voice, and expression through song. King David was a man who loved music, and his gift to God was a timeless collection of compositions praising Him. What a fabulous legacy of worship and love. Read all of The Book of Psalms. No….wait: sing all of The Book of Psalms!
- Speeches. Within the orations of charismatic leaders, we hear speech which truly has the power of life or death. Luke 45, as referenced earlier, states this truth in a most incontestable manner. I am certain that some particular leaders from the past have popped into your mind: Jesus, Saint Paul, Adolf Hitler, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., King Solomon, King David, Haman (The Book of Esther), Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela, to name a few. Notable quotes hold incredible power as well. Annually, as Founder and Director of The Central Massachusetts Freedom Coalition, I present my “quote for the year”: a short, memorable phrase which, hopefully, my team will carry within their hearts throughout the year. For example, during a year of intense awareness campaigns to educate the community about consumer participation in global supply chain slavery, the operating phrase was “Awareness without action equals acceptance”.
- Mission Statements. Mostly associated with businesses and organizations, Mission Statements are paramount in order to communicate the firm’s purpose. This statement becomes the face to the customer, to the employees, and to other businesses. The mission statement concisely defines the intention behind the company. But do people have mission statements? Some may not have made the connection between a mission statement developed by a business or institution, and a personal one. What is your favourite quote, or Bible verse? My favourite verse is Joshua 24:15, and you may have seen it elsewhere within these pages. But in addition to my favourite verse, I have a clearly defined mission, and purpose, which is within both an Old Testament book, and a New Testament book, found there, in the latter, in the form of a quote from Jesus. I have carried these verses for a lifetime, since I was a child:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;” (Isaiah 61:1).
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,” (Luke 4:18).
What is your mission statement?
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