Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time! (Proverbs 15:23)
If you have ever found yourself wishing you could 'pull back' those words you just spoke, beginning to see and feel their impact even before the other person does, you are not in that boat alone! We all do it on occasion - words sort of 'fall out' of our mouths and then 'whammy', the discord begins. It is a real battle - one won not with words, but with the Spirit of God within. Have you ever spoken 'ingenuine' words? Some might call them words of flattery or insincere praise. As you may have discovered, those 'ingenuine words' don't last very long or get you very far in life. They might be okay for a while, but before long, others will look for proof that you mean what you say.
Yehuda Berg reminds us, "Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble." Ponder that thought for just a bit and you will likely agree - words can be either our undoing or they can form the foundation upon which lives are changed for the better. Knowing which are the best to be spoken is therefore quite important! The energy and power of God's words should come first in our lives - then maybe the energy and power of our own words might be a little more 'fitting'!
When do the unkind and hurtful words come out? Isn't it when we 'feel' we deserved just a bit better from the other person? We 'felt' wronged in some manner, either because they didn't respect our space or our desires, and then those hurtful words come forth. When do healing words come out? Maybe it is when we stop acting upon what we 'feel' as much as we might want to. I am not saying we ignore our feelings and become doormats for everyone to walk all over, but there are just times when our 'feelings' get a little tweaked, but a kind answer can diffuse the situation so quickly. Choose the kind answer and see what it does to the other person. You could just be surprised at how impactful that choice may be.
We all desire to know the right thing to say in the right moment, but knowing how to say it in the right way is equally as important. Ever have someone tell you what you said made sense, but how you said it didn't really allow those words to have the right impact? The 'tone' was wrong - the 'attitude' behind the words may have been a little wrong, too. So, we need the right words, the timing to be right, but our heart must be right, too. We need God's help with all of these - not just the words. We want to be truthful, but we also want to be wise with our words. Just sayin!