Proverbs 25:11 “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
Matthew 12:36 “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.”
Focus: God’s wonderful and sacred purpose for the use of words.
Words are extremely important to God. Words are the ‘Divine Tools’ which He used to create this world. God spoke, and over a period of six days, this world was brought into existence. Words are also God’s chief method of communication, and how we use them is of GREAT concern to Him. Words can heal or hurt, help or hinder those with whom we associate. To ensure that we use words for His intended purpose, God has given us precious guidelines in the Bible, which He expects us to carefully follow.
The Bible tells us that God is Love. We cannot live without God; therefore, we cannot live without love. Love cannot exist without expression, so God has given us the gift of words so that we can daily send bountiful ‘showers’ of love into the lives of our fellowmen.
At the beginning of our first verse, God wants us to understand that a word must be ‘fitly’ spoken. This means that the word must be appropriate for the situation at hand; bearing in mind that it must ALWAYS be spoken in love. We use words for courting, correcting, counseling, commanding, contending, comedy, comfort, commitment, and compassion, but whatever the purpose, we must express care and concern in the tone of our voices at ALL times.
The apple is a delicious fruit, and very good to keep our bodies healthy. Likewise, God wants us to keep our relationships healthy, by using the best words as we interact with each other. He wants us to use words that are as fresh and juicy as an apple. When we speak to each other with the right words, with the right ‘body language’, with the right tone, at the right time, we are truly blessed and refreshed. God intended words to be as THIRST QUENCHERS. When we speak, we quench the other persons’ ‘thirst’, for knowledge and information, for acceptance and fellowship, and for deliverance from ignorance and misunderstanding. In those instances, when we say the wrong thing, or say the right thing in the wrong way, at the wrong time, we must graciously offer the ‘APPLE’ of APOLOGY.
Gold and Silver are precious, valuable metals. People are precious. People are very important to God, so they MUST be important to us too. God wants us to VALUE each other, whether rich or poor, young or old, regardless of race or status. God wants us to be aware that when we speak, we do not only utter words, we also express worth to the person. Therefore, He wants us to know and understand that our speech must always enrich the other person. Our speech must always serve to be up-lifting never down-grading.
As we speak, our words should offer the other person the ‘riches’ (gold and silver) of Respect, Kindness, Acceptance, Fellowship, Wisdom, Knowledge, Rebuke, Correction, Consideration, Courtesy, and Collaboration. At times of rebuke or correction, we must be very careful how we offer constructive criticism. We must prayerfully and carefully explain to the individual where he or she went wrong, or the need for improvement, without demolishing his or her self-esteem. When using constructive criticism, some people ‘hammer in’ the point, so that persons are left feeling as if they have been ‘hit on the head with a construction tool’. Instead, those persons must be discreetly led to feel, that your only objective is the improvement and development of their lives.
Our second verse informs us that there are very serious and eternal consequences for our misuse and abuse of words. One day, we will have to stand before the Throne of God, and give an account of EVERY IDLE WORD, which we have spoken. God wants us to know, understand, and REMEMBER, that He will judge us based on how we choose to use His sacred Gift of words. Let us therefore by His Grace, be more cautious, careful, and considerate, as we speak to others from this day forward.