How many times have you had someone remind you of something you had told them a week, month or even year ago? How often do you remember something that someone told you in a time of need or perhaps a sharp word uttered in haste, yet piercing to your soul. Are you the parent of little ones? You may speak swiftly without thought to your words, but your children will hear and remember.
Proverbs 21:11 says that “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” It is so important to weigh every word that comes out of our mouths. The word “fitly” is as a wheel on a chariot turning– no rough edges, causing the chariot to even bump. How do we measure every single word out of our mouths?
1. Through prayer. Every morning in my devotions I ask for the Holy Spirit’s power in my life. I also ask that He would guide every word that I speak. It is amazing to me how He will prompt me when I think about saying something that I shouldn’t. I wish I could say that I always heeded the prompting, but often I let my sin nature take control and speak anyway. I’ve also found that as I ask for wisdom while talking to someone, the Holy Spirit will put a thought in my mind to say to them.
2. Stop and think. I am an analytical thinker so this may come easier to me than to some. I do believe that someone who is swift to speak can (and should) learn to think before they use their tongue.
3. Realize the importance of your words to others. I previously posed the question about whether you remember harmful words someone spoke to you. You may remember those words, but they probably don’t because they didn’t take time to think before they spoke, therefore their words weren’t important to them and they most likely quickly forgot them.
The second part of Proverbs 21:11 says that our words should be as “apples of gold in pictures of silver”. A word spoken correctly can be pleasing to the ears as something pleasant would be to our eyes. There are key people in my life who have said something to me that I have carried with me for many years. I have often passed along these “words fitly spoken” to others when I thought it was beneficial. How many of our words are being passed on because they were “as apples of gold in pictures of silver”?
God has given us His Word that we might hide it in our hearts. If our minds are filled with Scripture, then we will have the words that we out to speak in the correct way at the correct time. God is good!