Proper Expression in Oral Reading: The science of reading correctly and with the proper emphasis is of highest value. No matter how much knowledge you may have acquired in other lines, if you have neglected to cultivate your voice and manner of speech so that you can speak and read distinctly and intelligently, all your learning will be of but little profit; for without voice culture you cannot communicate readily and clearly that which you have learned.
To learn to tell convincingly and impressively that which
one knows, is of special value to those who desire to become
workers in the cause of God. The more expression you can
put into words of truth, the more effective these words will be
on those who hear. A proper presentation of the Lord’s truth is
worthy of our highest efforts.
Distinctness in Every Word: When you speak, let every
word be full and well-rounded, every sentence clear and distinct
to the very last word. Many as they approach the end
of a sentence lower the tone of the voice, speaking so indistinctly
that the force of the thought is destroyed. Words that
are worth speaking at all are worth speaking in a clear, distinct
voice, with emphasis and expression.
Angel Voices in Union With Human Voices: Let the
voices of the followers of Christ be so trained that instead of
crowding words together in a thick, indistinct way, their utterance
may be clear, forcible, and edifying. Do not let the voice
fall after each word, but keep it up so that each sentence will
be full and complete. Will it not be worth disciplining yourself,
if by so doing you are able to add interest to the service of God
and to edify His children? The voice of thanksgiving, praise,
and rejoicing is heard in heaven. The voices of the angels in
heaven unite with the voices of the children of God on earth
as they ascribe honor and glory and praise to God and to the
Lamb for the great salvation provided.
Uncomely Gestures, Uncouth Speech: The workman for God should make earnest efforts to become a representative of Christ, discarding all uncomely gestures and uncouth speech. He should endeavor to use correct language. There is a large class who are careless in the way they speak, yet by careful, painstaking attention these may become representatives of the truth. Every day they should make advancement. They should not detract from their usefulness and influence by cherishing defects of manner, tone, or language. Common, cheap expressions should be replaced by sound, pure words. By constant watchfulness and earnest discipline the Christian youth may keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile.
The Spirit’s Help in Distinctness
of Speech: The teacher
of truth is to take heed how he
presents the truth. He is to speak
every word plainly and distinctly,
with that earnest conviction which
carries conviction to hearts. If the
words spoken are crowded upon each other, the impression
that should be made is lost. The talent of speech needs to be
cultivated, that the truth be spoken not excitedly, but slowly
and distinctly, that not a syllable may be lost. Rapidity of
speech can and should be corrected.
If the words of truth are of sufficient importance to be
spoken before an audience, they are of sufficient importance
to be spoken distinctly. The guidance of the Spirit never leads
to indistinctness of speech. The Spirit takes the things of
God and presents them through the human instrument to the
people. Then let them come from our lips in the most perfect
Our Words a Channel for the Communication of Truth:
We should receive the education essential in the line of conversation
that we may know how to speak right words and
how to speak in a proper tone, that our words may be a power
for good. The truth is no truth to us unless it is brought into
the inner courts of the soul. When this is done, our words are
a channel through which truth is communicated to others. As
you speak to others, lift your heart to God, praying that He will
prepare their hearts to receive the heavenly seed.
This article is excerpted from the book The Voice in Speech and
Song, pp. 187-189, by Ellen G. White.