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Thursday, November 2, 2017
To give an appropriate answer is a joy; how good is a word at the right time! (Proverbs 15:23CEB)
Do you ever find yourself just standing there speechless at times because what you just heard, saw, or were asked just absolutely floored you? There are entire shows on TV these days in which individuals try to leave those around them "shocked" by some behavior they exhibit. The idea is to see if anyone will say something, or react in a way that reminds us these behaviors are really not all that acceptable. It amazes me to see how many times others will take offense, as evidenced by their body language, but will absolutely say nothing! Then comes along someone with the "moxie" to stand up to the guy trying to elicit some response and how the words fly! What others only thought, this individual is putting into quite a diatribe of words!
God doesn't expect us to be speechless - but he also asks us to be very deliberate in the choice of words we speak. They are to be "appropriate" words that hit the spot, but don't damage others in the process. Sometimes an "appropriate" word will put someone in their place, though, but in a way that is tempered by the oversight of the Holy Spirit. Remembering that we aren't to "be" the Holy Spirit in the lives of another, we really are just to be "used by" him when we are called to step up. That probably means we won't ridicule, tear down, criticize in an unkind manner, etc. It means we will speak truth - but in gentleness and kindness.
Words have such a great power to both build up or tear down, and sometimes one speaks the right ones in the right time, while at others one doesn't do as well in this regard. We all find ourselves fallible where it comes to our words. We speak without thinking. We don't weigh the intensity of our tone. We disregard the feelings of another. In turn, we hit the mark, but we bring damage in the relationship. Wouldn't it be so much better for our words to be chosen well, tempered with the gentleness of the Spirit's guidance in our speaking of them, and hit the mark in such a way that it changes the heart of the one hearing them?