A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear.
Like the cold of snow in time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him,
for he refreshes the soul of his masters.
We’ve talked a lot about being in the right place at the right time, but we’re also reminded, through these verses, that it is also of value for us to say the right words at the right time.
It’s something that I’ve longed for. I mean, I would be lying to myself if I didn’t want the validation of the audience whenever I walked up to speak before them… but in order for this to happen, I thought there were more important things to consider than theatrics, and even more important than being true to myself.
Inciting immediate emotional responses by way of smoke and mirrors can get me so far, but the impact is likely to fade just as fast as it hit.
And sure, I have my parent to thank for having lesser fear than usual to speak my mind and to be ‘real’ – and I could write a whole lot about that – but the solid foundation of being ‘genuine’ is shaken just a little when we realize that though we may know more about ourselves than anyone in this reality would, it’s our Creator who truly knows every single detail about us: He knows what we claim to be the biggest things about us, versus the biggest things He has in store for us, for the biggest things He knows for sure we’ve been made for. In other words, there’s no one who knows us more than God – and we couldn’t be as ‘real’ as we strive to be.
No, when it comes to speaking, or even writing, I think I would minister to others, and consequently, to myself, by considering that I say the right words at the right time. As the proverbs go, I would strive to say words fitly spoken. And even if I’m one for avoiding conflict, I should have practicing wise rebukes, and seeking obedient ears out in my radar as things to learn. Finally, I would probably be closer to saying the right words at the right time, by way of being faithful to those who send me – sharing the message they wish to share to others, and refreshing their souls in the process.
I’m sure there are other ways to see that set of verses, but I’ll stick to this for now.
Also, we’ve established that it is Christ who brings us to the right place at the right time. And though we’ve made our mistakes in the past, though we’ve had our great share of falling, stumbling, and failing, well, we can still take heart, because Christ is faithful to cause it all to work for the good of those who love Him. Some way beyond our own imagination, our Savior causes the past, present, and the future to be right. I’m leading towards just saying that Christ HIMSELF is our right place, at the right time.
And with that said, I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch for us to say that by Christ, we would say the right words at the right time. Not to say that it’s okay for us to make mistakes – He is present and is moving, before, during, and after our words.
I used to say a lot about Christ being our Living Word: That is, that He is the Word that gives Life to the Scripture we read, and He is the Life that reveals Scripture as we live Life. But I suppose, if we are saying that Christ Himself is what makes our words right, and at the right time, we could substitute ‘Scripture’ for every other word we speak or write. And with that said, yes, Christ is the Living Word: He is the Word that is Life accompanying every word we read or speak, and He is the Life that is revelatory Word to us as we live Life.
We speak Christ. And to speak Christ is as apples of gold in settings of silver. Refreshing, and classy. To speak Christ, rebuking when we are led to, is adorning the obedient ear with an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold. Finally – and this gets to me more than anything else – To speak Christ is to be faithful to Him who sent us, and His soul is refreshed…
How’d you like them apples?
The rest of Proverbs 25 speaks of the consequent folly of speaking ill, and bearing false witness. Certainly not apples, nor are they golden. They are as weapons of war that strike just as hard.
But as I was glossing through these verses I’m led to verse 19: Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint.
And I’m led back to my own role as a messenger, or a communicator. I have my times of unfaithfulness. And in light of all the mistakes and blunders I’ve done in the past, and my certain unreliability in the future, how can I say that I am not as a bad tooth and a foot out of joint?
“To speak Christ is to be faithful to Him who sent us, and His soul is refreshed.” As I wrote that sentence, I realized just how important it is to be validated by the Sender, as it is to be validated by the recipients. And I am reminded: We validate, because we ourselves have been validated by Christ. When we have been entrusted by others in this reality, or when we ourselves have asked others to share messages in our stead, we may make our mistakes – but what makes a faithful or unfaithful messenger is apparently not according to our own efforts or works.
Here, friends, is another insight, or another perspective to our salvation. In Romans 8 it says that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ. In other words, because of what the only begotten Son of God has done for us, we can be sure, that even in our faithfulness or unfaithfulness in this reality, that we are always present in His love. We know this. We celebrate this. Christ saved us from rejection and death and brought us in, permanently and absolutely, into His kingdom of love and life…
But apparently, for us to be saved also means that this same Life that we celebrate is just as present when we are in the wrong place at the wrong time, or when we say the wrong things at the wrong time. And because Christ, who is our Life, is present, He makes it right – to clarify, He makes it right, not according to our limited knowledge, but according to His unlimited wisdom.
Proverbs 25 ends with verse 28: Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.
In light of what I am having all of us consider today, are we to run reckless, and are we to run our mouths with abandon? No. On the contrary, it is because we have Christ present in us, that we are able to rule our spirit, even before our words come out of our mouth, or even before we bring ourselves to where we go – Christ is just as much with us, whether we are thinking intentionally about being at the right place at the right time, or not.
Isn’t it such a wonderful thing to know, that our God loves us that much to be with us all the time?
Until the next post, God bless you.
Leave a Reply