Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything. (Eph. 5:19–20)

The vocal chords are the proper name for what produces sound in human throats. They are folds of tissue and by vibrating, they help produce speaking and singing. The intricacies of the way they operate is fascinating. Most of us never give a thought to this as we open our mouths to say something or to sing in church. We simply expect sound to come forth when we want it.

But making sound with these muscles is not automatically singing to the Lord or giving thanks. To do this, one must be fully engaged, intentional. The words we choose to sing and say reflect and affect our state of mind and the condition of our relationship with the Lord. Verbalization of thought is powerful. God knew this and told us to use the ability to make sound in a way that uplifts him and encourages others.

Certain monastic orders take a vow of silence for a period of time. They believe that in refraining from the distraction of human speech, they may more clearly hear the voice of the Divine. Quietness is supported in Scripture—quietness in God’s presence, quietness of heart, quietness in the face of reviling. But the balance is revealed in today’s reading. Our voices are gifts to be used in praise and worship and edification of others.

Use your voice unto the Lord; take a vow of praise.

Valorie Quesenberry is a pastor’s wife and mom who lives in Indiana and likes to recharge with coffee and time with friends.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.