“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Proverbs 25:11 ESV
The greatest gift I received this year was the letter I found on my pillow Christmas Day from my 17 year-old daughter, Emily. There is nothing that she could have bought for me that would have been more perfect or could have given me such joy; even weeks after the holidays were over. It was simply written on notebook paper and placed in a white envelope, but the beauty of the gift was in her words, carefully chosen to express what was in her heart. Her message of encouragement, thankfulness and love were a precious gift to me; a treasure to my heart, that will continue to bless me as I read it again and again. She had no way of knowing how much I needed that encouragement at that very moment. Emily’s words were as beautiful as, and more valuable than a silver bowl filled with apples of 14k gold.
“The right word spoken at the right time is as beautiful as gold apples in a silver bowl.” Proverbs 25:11 New Century Version
How many times do I act on a prompting from God to give a word of encouragement, either spoken or written, to someone I know? An equally important question is: How sensitive am I to that voice within me that instructs me to keep my mouth shut? What I am about to say may indeed be true, but is it necessary or helpful?
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 NIV
This is a verse that I had hanging on our refrigerator when my kids were growing up. It’s such a simple reminder to use a filter for what comes out of my mouth.
My words have such incredible influence. I can use them to bring healing or inflict hurt, instill hope or cause despair, to build up or tear down. In this world of criticism, negativity and foul language, my positive words can be a neutralizing force, lessening the impact and damage of the destructive speech that is all around me.
Let 2013 be filled with beautiful words that bring hope and healing.
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 NIV