Discuss the possible heart issues behind each of the forbidden ways of speech listed below. Then look closely at the list of 12 tones of voice and discuss the possible heart conditions behind each one. Attach specific Scriptures to counter each tone of voice and the possible heart conditions behind them.
1. Lying (Ephesians 4:25; I Peter 3:10; Psalm 34:13)
2. Slander (Titus 3:2; James 4:11)
3. Gossip (Proverbs 6:16-19; 11:13; 16:28)
4. Complaining (I Corinthians 10:10; Philippians 2:14; Jude 16)
5. Vengeful words (I Peter 2:23; Romans 12:17-19)
6. Malicious or hurtful words (Ephesians 4:31-32)
7. Angry words (Ephesians 4:31-32)
8. Hasty words (James 1:19; Ecclesiastes 3:7)
9. Flattery (Proverbs 24:26-28; 29:5; Rom. 16:18)
10. Cursing people (James 3:7-10)
11. Boasting (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
Watch that tone
Tone of voice can make a big difference in communication. Honest words spoken with hurtful tones are self-defeating. Scripture says, “Speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).
I would never argue for single-toned speech, but some tones are clearly unacceptable. Some are destructive to good relationships and even misrepresent and dishonor God. Consider the following wrongful tones…
One of the best ways to change our speech patterns is to replace inappropriate ways of talking with godly speech. An obvious example would be to replace gossip or slander with positive words about others. Words of thanks and kind words of encouragement are excellent alternatives to many of the wrongful ways of speaking (Ephesians 4:32; 5:18-21). Praising for God (Hebrews 13:15) is a potent form of speech that can set a clear tone for the rest of life. Those in authority who must confront, correct, and punish others are also commanded to affirm the good (see: I Peter 2:13-14).