Monday, September 13, 2021
I love to sing. As I have gotten older my voice has become deeper. Some of the songs I used to sing as a young person I can no longer sing well because they are out of my range. I have to ask the person playing the keyboard to put the song into a lower musical key so I can hit all the high notes without sounding like I did when I was 14 and my voice was changing. This process of putting the music into a different key so it is matched to the needs of the singer is called transposing. In the dictionary, transpose is defined as:
1. to change the position or order of;
2. musically, to put in a different key;
3. algebraically, to move from one side of the equation to the other.
Let’s look at those three definitions in light of Proverbs 22:18b, which says, “have all of them ready on your lips”.
Solomon tells us to have wisdom always ready on our lips. In other words, “Let wisdom transpose your speech.”
In the context of the definitions of transpose, here’s what I have learned:
1. Words of wisdom need to change position with the normal responses we make to people in conversation. Our first response is not usually one of wisdom and encouragement. Our first response is usually planned to bring attention to self through humor and personal stories, or to protect self through defensive, argumentative, and antagonistic statements. What would our relationships be like if the first words on our lips in every conversation were filled with the wisdom of God for the other person? Imagine the depth of love we would begin to experience. Our speech needs to be transposed.
2. Words of wisdom need to be put into a different key. In music, when a song is transposed, it remains the same song. Everything about the song remains the same except the tone. When we speak to others, we may have all the right things to say, but we may not be considered wise because of the tone in which we say them. The Apostle Paul says to “speak the truth in love.” Putting the words of wisdom into the right range to meet the need of the hearer is essential.
3. Words of wisdom also need to be applied to the correct side of the equation if the problem is going to be solved. Those of you who love math as much as I do will understand that if you are going to solve an equation, assuming “x” is the unknown, you must attempt to move all of the known values to one side so that “x” stands alone. Here is an example: x – 4 = 5. To solve for x, you move the 4 to the other side of the equation by adding it to the five, so that x = 5 + 4, or 9. When we apply this principle to our relationships, we discover something very valuable in helping people solve problems and come to decisions. We help them to move all of the known factors to one side of the equation, consider their value, see how they relate to each other, and when each has been properly considered and applied, the problem, “x”, is solved.
I know I have a lot of work to do in these three areas. I will be spending time today contemplating the transposing of my speech so that wisdom is always ready on my lips. Will you join me in that pursuit?