By Wayne Clapp – Associate Pastor
God bless you and greetings in the powerful name of Jesus Christ who spoke the right words at the right time to the ruler of the synagogue.
“While [Jesus] was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?’
As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe.’” Mark 5:35-36 NKJV
Have you heard people say, “Timing is everything.”? This adage rings in harmony with the Bible, which resonates with the importance of the proper timing of what we say.
I trust you can remember an incident where God had you speak just the right word at the right time and it made quite an impact on someone’s life. You may also remember an occasion when God had you hold your tongue with the same positive outcome.
The Bible says that there is a time to keep silence and a time to speak (Ecclesiastes 3:7).
Apples of Gold
Solomon compared properly timed and well-spoken words with golden apples on a silver setting—beautiful, valuable, and carefully crafted:
“A word fitly spoken in like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11
Knowing the right time to speak benefits both the speaker and listener. This is true whether they are words of love, encouragement, or reproof.
The apples spoken of in Proverbs 25 (kichilika is the Sanskrit word for them) are really lush oranges which are a little bigger than a grapefruit.
They’re only grown in the East and must be eaten right away as they ripen quickly and so they can’t be exported.
They are gold in color, sweet, and refreshing. Their juice is particularly delightful and soothing.
Not only are they delicious, but they are presented most tastefully. Their placement on beautiful silver trays adds to their allure.
That’s what a word fitly spoken does for people. It soothes, provides hope, and uplifts. Referred to as the king of the oranges, they have a regal aura.
Keeping silent also has its place and time. When tempted to ridicule, taunt, or slander, Proverbs says that it is wise to hold our tongue and not speak.
“He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his peace.
A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.” Proverbs 11:12-13 NKJV
When we are tempted to run off at the mouth due to thoughtlessness or anger, we would do well to resist by being slow to speak.
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19 NKJV
It’s often hard to know what to say and when to say it. That’s where walking by the spirit comes in.
God can and will help us use the right words at the right time for the right reason and in the right manner, to bless others and accomplish His will. Getting a hold of “timing” requires patience.
Fulton Sheen said, “Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is “timing;” it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way.”
Timely words are works of art which are often produced by patience and discipline.
Buck Brannaman reminds us that “discipline isn’t a dirty word. Far from it. Discipline is the one thing that separates us from chaos and anarchy. Discipline implies timing. It’s the precursor to good behavior, and it never comes from bad behavior. People who associate discipline with punishment are wrong: with discipline, punishment is unnecessary.”
Let’s discipline ourselves to exercise patience and speak for Him and deliver “apples of gold on pictures of silver.”
Enjoy another abundant day declaring you are what God says you are.
You are God’s best and certainly God blessed!
For more on the right words at the right time, check out Leaving Imprints of Love.