The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry, And a wise friend’s timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.
Proverbs 25:11-12 MSG)
Here Solomon uses a series of metaphors we need digest and take seriously. Good communication is more than babbling whatever comes into our mind as we speak. Controlling the tongue yields soothing benefits and can bring godly comfort. The right words spoken in a timely manner edify the hearer.
Eugene Peterson’s wording in The Message helps readers today. He emphasizes our need to use of the best words to effectively communicate. Some translations of this passage, read apples of gold which also means soothing/beautiful words. Each makes the point of wisely choosing the right words for the purpose.
A reprimand, after an offense can be harsh or abrupt. However, when done wisely and timely it yields better results. The agility or effectiveness of good communication is an art form which is better than a staccato of words used without discretion.
Tame the Tongue
James, the brother of Jesus, has much to say on communication, especially on the use of the tongue.
With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!
My friends, this can’t go on (James 3:10-12a The Message).
James declares we have to control what we say, because we can easily slip into divisive words. Too often, we speak without thinking or without honoring our Lord. Think on this: The right words spoken in a timely manner edify the hearer.
Prayer: Father, help me choose the words you would have me speak. I ask your Spirit to guide me daily in my communication. The words I use should be at your prompting to edify. Selah.