Words fitly spoken
All of my life I have had a love affair with words. When I write a story, I listen for the rhythm and cadence of each sentence, as though I were writing music, and if the phrase strikes an odd tone, it needs fixing. Life is like that.
Some emotions, actions, reactions, and words are spoken with cymbals and huge crescendos (very loud), while others remain pianissimo (very quiet) their whole life through.
Words can shout at us to sit up and pay attention because what is about to be said is super important. Or words can be whispered in the ear to tell a secret that is meant only for us. God speaks to us both ways. His voice is thunder. His voice whispers.
Beautiful music is like a word fitly spoken. Kind, encouraging, uplifting words that brighten the hearts of those who hear them. But sometimes a single word can change the kindness to cruelty, the encouragement to shame. "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver," Solomon said in Proverbs 25:11 (Apples in the Bible may have actually been what we know as the apricot.)
Tone and timing of words can also affect the meaning of words. "Fitly spoken" carries the idea that I stop and evaluate--I "think before I speak."
Fitly spoken can mean, "wait." Or it can mean, "choose my words with care." Or it can mean, "share this, it will be helpful to the listener." It can even mean, "confront--as in speak the truth in love."
We have to ask ourselves whether the thought we want to share, that may have just "popped into our minds" really matters. If it never gets said, will the other person miss out on something grand? Or do we speak to hear our own words?
Golden apples are a thing of beauty, just as a tray of silver sparkles like the sun. Words well spoken are just as beautiful. To speak them in love, at the appropriate time, with the right motives, with the desire to build up and encourage, takes them from mere language spilling from our tongue to something of value.
Like apples of gold in settings of silver. Rich. Shiny. Inspiring.
And in a small way, a picture of love.