AUGUST 17, 2012
A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. (Proverbs 25:11, NIV)
The Proverbs themselves are a collection of “good words,” helping us think clearly about life as God would
have us live it. Their brief insights are packed with the kind of instruction that pushes us toward excellence.
But in the midst of these good words are a number of reminders about speaking good words of our own.
Let’s focus on Proverbs 25, from which we draw our chief passage today, emphasizing the beauty of a word aptly spoken. In the Hebrew, we find the word ophen, which simply means “fit for the circumstances.” It is a beautiful thing, a valuable thing, to say the right thing at the right time.
As we explore the proverbs surrounding this one, we find more help in recognizing just what constitutes an apt word:
- “Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence” (v. 6). When we are in the midst of
those greater than ourselves, we may think it necessary to bring ourselves up to their level by touting our own strengths. Rather, the wise speaker remains humble, waiting for the king to do the exalting.
- “Do not betray another man’s confidence” (v. 9). Our ability to keep what is personal information
personal (even secret) helps secure our reputation as someone who is trustworthy.
- “Like an earring of gold...is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear” (v. 12). Sometimes the most
fitting word is a word of appropriate correction. Just make sure you’ve earned the right to make such a delivery!
- “A gentle tongue can break a bone” (v. 15). There is unique power in the right words delivered in the
right spirit at the right time.
It is good to be reminded here that everywhere we go—home, work, park, club—we are Christ’s
ambassadors. And one of the most important lessons of diplomacy is knowing what to say when.
August 17, 2012
Copyright 2012 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.