2018-12-07 / Chaplain's News

The right words at the right time

Chaplain (Capt.) Jeffrey Brannen
369th Signal Battalion

Proverbs 25:11 “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”

Our words are both weapons of war, to wound and kill, and instruments of health, to heal and bring life.

The wrong thing said at the wrong time can destroy a relationship, kill a friendship, or end a career. Conversely, the right thing said at the right time may well bring joy and gladness to a wounded heart.

Solomon, in Proverbs 25:11, paints a beautiful picture of this second type of speech – apples picked in the peak of the season, just bursting with flavor, put on the table in a silver serving dish.

In a time and place where famine was a regular fear, where meals were rarely extravagant, where dishes and plates where ordinary, it is here that Solomon wants us to consider how tasty and delicious our words can be to a hungry soul.

How often are we quick to speak but slow to listen? How often do we jump to conclusions? How many times do we let our temper get the best of us?

But what if we slowed down, listened carefully, and held our anger in check? Could we perhaps speak a word of encouragement to help our spouse or children accomplish their dreams?

Could we say what needs to be said but with kindness and gentleness rather than a harsh and bitter tone? Could we lay down our complaining and grumbling but express thankfulness and joy?

Could we be humble and phrase our requests as just that – requests – instead of demands? Could we compliment our coworkers and children, especially when they aren’t there to hear it?

Our words, chosen carefully and well, said at the right time in the right place, become a banquet feast of the finest and sweetest fruit in silver dishes. These are prepared in love and served with joy bringing life and light into the lives of those we love.

If this is something you want to work on, here is a practical suggestion. Think of the person with whom you have the most conflict.

Next, write down five specific things that you appreciate about this person, whether it’s your spouse, a child, a coworker, or a boss.

Then, over the course of the next week, each day share one of these compliments with that individual.

Who knows? You might just say the right word at the right time.

Return to top