The timing of our words, it really is all in motive…
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver”(Proverbs 25:11, KJV).
“The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry, And a wise friend’s timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger” (The Message).
Through my own shortcomings I am learning that our words need to not only be kind and true but also need to be the right word at the right time. Sometimes we can choke out the tender plant if we try to dump buckets of water on it in hopes that it would take in some nourishment. Often the tender plant really just needed a few sips of water.
Our words can be like rain in a dry and barren desert or like a tsunami coming in waves dumping large volumes of displaced water, destroying the very root of another.
Our conversations should be “…always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you know how to answer everyone”(Colossians 4:6). The words we speak need to meet others at their point of need, to feed them where they are at. Grace means “a virtue coming from God…The quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful.” (Merriam-Webster). Often times I must ask myself what is my purpose or motive in what I am going to say. There is a check in my spirit concerning my motive. King David often asked the Lord to search his heart and to reveal anything that is contrary to a true heart. Our words are not for our own benefit but to encourage and sometimes admonish another.
It is not just what we say but how we say it and the motive behind what we are saying.
Words are to be seasoned with salt. Salt brings out the flavor in the foods. If we use too much salt it becomes unpalatable and bitter, it can actually contribute to high blood pressure and worsen a failing heart. Yet our diets require some salt to assist with our bodies natural functioning. Likewise our words should bring out the best in others. They should be said with thought and consideration of its effect on another, spoken in carefully measured amounts. Many hearts have been wounded by careless self-promoted words. One teaspoon of table salt meets the daily nutritional requirement. It has often been said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So it is with our words.
We all would like to choose words that are like apples of gold in silver linings so what hinders us? The reasons can be multi-factorial, maybe unresolved hurts; perhaps it was how we learned to communicate or maybe just never really gave it much thought. Sometimes it may be in response to our own disappointment. Because of our unrealistic expectations of another, we may retaliate in anger.
Words can heal or harm and their affect is eternal – from generation to generation.
Golden Rule for speaking apples of gold:
Are my words appropriate?
Are my words planned?
Are my words palatable?
Are my words loving?
Are my words eternal?
Are my words seasoned with salt?