Proverbs 25:11 – “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” NKJV
I will never forget when I first began to travel in itinerant ministry as an Evangelist I went to get some business cards printed and wanted to use this passage on my card. The man who took my order looked at it and said, “Why would you want to put ‘a word filthy spoken’ on your card?” I DIDN’T! I realized quickly how easy it would be for someone to misread the verse and chose another instead.
However, the passage is a powerful message on speaking ‘right words’ at the ‘right time’ for the ‘right reason’ and being a man/woman of your word. My parents and grandparents instilled in me that if you gave your word you gave yourself and it was to be honored. Both my father and maternal grandfather were men of such integrity that if they gave their word and shook hands it was more binding than any legal contract. It was their bond! They considered someone who broke their word of the basest sort of person. I recall once making a pledge for a small amount of money but being in college I had no means to accumulate the extra money short of a miracle from God. I told my father about my pledge and he wrote me a check and told me that next time not to make a commitment I was not sure I could keep. I tried to explain that I would get the money somehow but he would have none of it because I had given my word and the due date on the pledge was at hand. In his mind if I did not meet the ‘faith promise’ I was breaking my word and that would tarnish both my name and reputation and he could not abide that.
I have found this passage relevant in situations where a ‘calming word’ at the right moment diffused a potentially volatile situation and brought peace. I have seen it when a ‘wise word’ was offered that prevented a life from being shipwrecked by a terrible decision. I have seen it when an ‘encouraging word’ was given and a heart was rescued out of despondency and depression. A ‘right word’ at the ‘right time’ for the ‘right reason’ is truly like an apple of gold in a setting of silver. It is not only beautiful but a treasure!
We each should carefully measure our words and allow the Holy Spirit to set a guard at our mouths so that when we speak we speak light into darkness and life into death. So as you go through your day go with the knowledge and confidence that God will give you the right words to say at the right time no matter the situation.