A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! (Proverbs 15:23 KJV)
According to Solomon, the wise king of Israel, a word spoken in due season is so good! Interestingly, the first one to taste the goodness of the good word is the one who said them: “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth.” This devotional will review the meaning of a word spoken in due season and the goodness it procures to the speaker and the hearer.
Words are powerful. They can build and destroy. When spoken words go wrong, they pierce as a double edge sword and can create wounds in the hearts of the hearers that not even time could heal. But when we speak good words in due season, they refresh, encourage, build up, strengthen, inspire, and gladden the hearts of the hearers. These good words, Solomon continues, are “like apples of gold in a setting of silver”. (Proverbs 25:11 ESV).
The edifying power of words is unleashed in various settings. First, there are our casual conversations with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Even in these simple settings, we should strive to speak words that positively affect the hearers. Then there are various official settings such as work, business, schools, etc. Furthermore, beyond these casual and official settings is the unique Christian setting of preaching, teaching, or prophesying in which we speak words that strengthen, edify, encourage and comfort God’s people.
But there is one more setting that permeates all three settings noted above. It is the speaking of words to someone who is down, heavy, discouraged, troubled, or just “having a bad day.” To explain these good words in due season, Solomon said:
“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” (Proverbs 12:25 ESV)
The right words spoken in due season to the right person can switch someone’s day from a bad day to a good one. How many of you have read the Bible, listened to a sermon, or just heard an encouraging word from a brother or sister that completely altered the trajectory of your day and unleashed fresh zeal, power, and encouragement from within? Some of you send me emails telling me how Deshen Daily devotionals sometimes refresh your heart like cold water on a hot day. As I noted previously, this is why the Lord gave me the title of Deshen Daily devotionals as “the breath of the Spirit every day”!
We should desire utterance from the Spirit of God to speak words that will bless our wives, husbands, children, friends, co-workers, business partners, etc. These loved ones and those we interact with should receive from our mouths words that land on their hearts as apples of Gold in the settings of silver in their lives.
When was the last time you got into trouble because of what you said?
Apply the Word
Words matter. They matter not only to the Christians who listen to our preaching or the subordinates at work but also to our children, spouses, siblings, and neighbors. We should be dispensers of apples of Gold to beauty the settings of silver in people’s lives.
Ask the Spirit to help us utter words that build people’s lives.