A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Proverbs 25:11
One of the more important aspects of any relationship is found within communication. Communication reveals not only a message or thought, but it also shows how you feel about someone or even the degree to which you trust another. Communication is often overlooked or forgotten because one part of the relationship is too focused on their own path. When communication is neglected relationships struggle.
Neglected communication is not merely experienced through a lack of speaking. Many times it is a result of poorly timed words that are spoken without thought or consideration given towards another. Solomon writes, “A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (Pro 25:11) What we speak is just as important as when we say it. A word spoken at the right moment is worth more than we can even imagine. The opposite would be true as well. A word spoken at the wrong time can do much harm.
Mark Batterson in his book, The Grave Robber, writes, “Never underestimate the power of one well-timed compliment. It has the power to change a person’s entire perspective on life.” I believe most of us would agree with this. However, we fail to understand the converse side. The following are several thoughts about the words we speak to others.
- Consider the Reason. Why are you going to say what you are about to say? Is it merely to get something off your chest? To share how you feel? There are times and places that we can do these, but we must make sure that the reason is not to project negativity upon someone else. Every word we speak should be intended to build up the other person(s). This does not mean that we never share things that are hard, it just means that our motive is to build up and not tear down. We are to speak the truth, that truth must be spoken in love (Ephesians 4:15).
- Consider the Time. Early morning, middle of the work day, or late at night. Words can be spoken at the right time or the wrong time. When you want to communicate, make sure you are saying it at the right time. Consider if you say it now how will it affect the other person’s start to their day, their work, or their sleep. To receive a text message that says, “I love you and am proud of how hard you work!” can be an incredible boost to your day. To receive one that says, “we really need to talk!” can be a source of worry and anxiety all day. Timing is everything.
- Consider the Tone. The tone of your communication matters as well. The tone will convey more than the actual words themselves. Many people like to kid-on-a-square, this simply means that their tone is in a joking manner but what they speak has truth to them. The other person may or may not get the joke. I love sarcasm, but at times the tone of sarcasm can really hurt another person. If careful thought is not given to the tone, the inflection of the voice may communicate the exact opposite of what you intended to say. Your tone is often influenced by how you are feeling at the moment. It is better to wait to speak than to speak something you do not wish to communicate.
If you desire to build up others through your communication make sure you have checked your reason (motive), that the time is right, and that your tone is in agreement with the message you are communicating.
How have you experienced both sides of this post? Please comment and let me know. Oh, realize that you have probably been on both sides. There have been times when you have communicated positively and negatively, and there have been times when you have been communicated with positively and negatively. Sharing these can help us all learn to communicate better.
Picture used was painted by Mindi Oaten. You can check out more of her work and order prints @ https://www.mindioaten.com/. She is a wonderful and Spirit-filled prophetic artist.
Quote used from Mark Batterson’s The Grave Robber.