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April 24, 1996

Well Said

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A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. PROVERBS 25:11
Have you ever thought that your words could be like precious metals that have been skillfully fashioned into a beautiful piece of art?
Most of us don’t think of our speech in such lofty terms, but that is exactly the picture that this verse portrays. When we say just the right thing at exactly the right time in just the right way, our words are like “apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).
In practical terms, what kind of words could be elevated to such status? We know right away that that these words are not flippant or hasty. And it’s not necessarily the content of the words that makes them fit this description—they might be healing phrases that are as refreshing to the listener as a cold drink in a hot desert, but they could just as easily be painful words that pierce the very soul of the hearer. The difference lies in the thought that goes into the words, the timing of the delivery, and the way they are said.
These words are meticulously crafted. Each one is considered carefully and either accepted or rejected based on its appropriateness for the discussion. They are spoken when the listener is ready and willing to hear them, not blurted out at the first break in the conversation. And regardless of whether they are meant to confront or encourage, they are spoken in a spirit of kindness, gentleness, humility, and love.
Do you take this kind of care with your speech? Many of the conversations we participate in throughout the day don’t require such contemplative speech, but there are times when such carefully crafted words are helpful, sometimes even necessary. We can prepare for those times by monitoring everything we say a little more closely. That way, when the occasion warrants a verbal masterpiece, we’ll be ready and able to deliver one.

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