I have really been enjoying my new book. Some of the things I have read are so good and they express my heart exactly, so I just want to type it word for word. Darin Hufford says.......
"Over the years, I have watched a growing trend that has brought much concern to my heart. It usually happens when a preacher is relating a conversation he supposedly had with God, and when he comes to what "God said," he presents Him as being callous and coarse in His tone.
I once heard an evangelist recall a word for word conversation where God was confronting him on a matter of personal pride and supposedly God said to him, "you make me sick." Another time the story was told that God's response to a person was, "do I stutter, or are your ears flapping?" It's usually done for effect, but I feel that over time it wears on the hearts of His children. We begin to expect that this is who God is and how He relates to us.
The Bible says to speak the truth in LOVE. Truth ceases to be truth if it is spoken in any other tone than love. Tone is everything! Words speak to the head. Tone speaks to the heart. Even dogs understand this principal. Have you ever spoken words of love to a dog in an angry voice? What happens? The dog runs away and hides.
This is precisely why so many Christians are hiding today. They have been given loving words in an angry voice. Though they have memorized the words in their head, they have also memorized tone in their heart. A preacher can tell his congregation that God loves them every Sunday for a year, but if the preacher doesn't love them himself, the tone will always be contaminated. It's not enough to preach on a subject and cover all the points. Love must be at the heart of everything we do and say and the tone of love is NEVER rude."
I struggled with this for years in my former church. It seemed at the time, that certain things being said were right, but the tone they were spoken in seemed harsh many times. I can remember phrases such as "beat their brains out," and "pea-brained Christians," that were spoken in a callous or rude tone. I would have never used those phrases when talking about my children or other Christians and I cringed as they were said, but I just pushed aside the concern I had over it. I didn't realize until recently that somewhere inside I couldn't help but wonder if God acted the same way towards me. I bring this up to show that there is a danger to your spiritual well-being to sit under someone who isn't using a tone of love and building you up. Your head may get used to it, but your heart never will. You will start to act like a scared puppy and hide from God when you think He will shoot you down or criticize you. These types of actions are the total opposite of who God is. His tone is always love! Love, love, love! And that is what I always want my tone to be.
Darin said, "The only way the Bible can be properly interpreted is if the messenger knows and understands the tone of God's heart." I want to know the tone of God's heart and part of that is making sure I am protecting my heart and listening to the right things. Listen to the tone in which things are being said. If they make God seem like a mean or rude God, it's not right. If Christians or other churches are being put down, God's not in it. We must have the right picture in our hearts of who God truly is. God is love, He's always love and there is never a point when He isn't love. It's that simple.