Right Words at the Right Time

The Bible talks about words that are fitly spoken. “A word fifty spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). While I am not quite sure about the imagery of apples of gold in pictures of silver, I get the point. That is what you are to understand about the Proverbs. We must get the point. Here, the point is that we should be careful with our speech.

Yesterday, our local police chief had to put out a statement about a crime that didn’t happen. My guess is that police departments know how to handle statements about crimes that did happen but not about crimes that didn’t.

Someone reported a serious crime that had not happened. The department had to affirm that it didn’t happen while assuring the public that they take every report seriously and that they accept the report as truth. The chief stated that and also mentioned that they had to follow the evidence.

The chief’s statement was so well crafted that I had to write and congratulate him on his statement.

We all need to craft our words wisely, not just the public statements we make but also our private communication.

Can you remember things said to you as a child? Many of those words were not fitly spoken. They were crass, unkind, or especially hurtful. The fact that you remember those words years later shows the power of words and the importance of speaking wisely.

One way to speak wisely is to be slow to speak. This is the advice that James the Apostle gave to the believers dispersed from Jerusalem by intense persecution. He told them to be quick to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19).

Another way to speak wisely is to pray with the psalmist, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

We can also pray about the situations that we will face. I believe in praying in advance, asking God to help me with the right words at the right time–words fitly spoken.

We will have to speak. Let us seek the right words at the right time. Let us ask God for guidance and direction. “If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all generously and without reproach” (James 1:5).

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. — Hebrews 10:35-36 (NIV)