Tease, tease, tease; bug, bug, bug; it’s mine, mine, mine – that was pretty much our life.
It wasn’t until our college years that the two of us formed a sort of unspoken truce.
We weren’t the best of friends, but little by little, our relationship healed. Still, in spite of all this, I was little surprised by something he whispered in my ear on my wedding day.
It was during a sweet, congratulatory hug, that the words “I love you” raced from his lips, past my flowing veil, though my poofy hair-do and on into my unsuspecting ear.
I was shocked, but you know, the words were perfect for the moment, the day … the memory.
My brother had chosen just the right thing to say at just the right time – it was a word fitly spoken.
_ In this crazy world, we’ve got so many words to deal with. Television, radio, the internet – they all scream for our attention, our approval, our wallets.
They all speak at us.
What grabs us, however, is the personal stuff – those special times when someone finally takes the time to actually speak to us.
_ Unfortunately, some of us (myself included) are good at “selective listening.” Easily, we tune out the speaker and let our mind drift to other things. And, if we’re not careful, we sometimes miss out on the good stuff.
I was in a rush the other day after church when an elderly friend stopped me in the foyer. I needed to speak with our pastor’s wife, and I kept her in my periphery sight as I tried to focus on what the man had to say.
He was uplifting me in the Lord, saying something honoring about my character and you know what? I rushed him, not really hearing.
I explained that I needed to catch someone and as soon as I could, I left. It wasn’t until later in the car that I thought about what he had said, wishing I had a pen to write it down – but what was it again? Ah … I should have listened better don’t you think?
Good thing there are times when we do hear precious, life-giving words loud and clear isn’t it?
These are great moments.
King Solomon, in all his God-given wisdom, wrote the Proverbs to teach us how to live.
I sometimes think of Proverb 25:11 when I hear special words like what my brother said on my wedding day:
W “A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Like a finely made piece of jewelry that’s pleasing to our eyes, the right words at the right time are a blessing to our ears.
This past summer, I picked us a brochure on “inclusion” from a nearby hospital. Now, I didn’t know what “inclusion” really was, but the writing style of the brochure caught my eye, and I thought it would be a good one to study.
I read it last night and was sort of shocked at its point. The hospital was using the brochure to tell its employees how to be nice to others. Printed inside were 30 tips on how to treat people with dignity and respect. I say Proverbs 25:11 should have been one of those tips. Looking for ways that we can uplift and bless others with meaningful words should be a daily task.
Our heavenly Father provides the greatest example in this.
If we’re willing to listen, God often speaks to us through his Word, giving us just what we need to hear.
My spirit was heavy over some issues we were having with one of our kids the other night as I prepared dinner. I hate the feeling of despair, and I sensed it creeping up on me.
I plopped my hormone-free, Amish – grown chicken into the sink and looked down at its wrapper. There, of all places, was a scripture verse and, you know what? It was just what I needed to hear: “When my spirit is faint, thou knowest my way” Psalm 142:3.
The words soothed my soul, and I brought that chicken over to my husband to let it encourage him too. Like apples of gold in settings of silver, God used a silly chicken to minister his word to me just when I needed it most.
Let’s be on the lookout this week for someone who needs to be loved, encouraged and built up. And when they least expect it, let’s bless them with a word fitly spoken.
Here are some Bible verses that'll help you on your journey:
Proverbs 15:23 (Amplified Bible) A man has joy in making an apt answer, and a word spoken at the right moment--how good it is!
Isaiah 50:4 (Amplified Bible) [The Servant of God says] The Lord God has given Me the tongue of a disciple and of one who is taught, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He wakens Me morning by morning, He wakens My ear to hear as a disciple [as one who is taught].
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (Amplified Bible)
Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing.