Proverbs 15:1 etc. – WORDS
Words are used every day by just about everyone. There are all kinds of words.
· There are generous words. There are stingy words.
· There are loving words. There are hateful words.
· There are kind words. There are unkind words.
· There are words spoken in anger. There are words spoken in peace.
· There are loud words. There are quiet words.
And on we could go.
The words that Christians use are very important. Our words will either draw people to faith in Christ and a deep walk with God, or our words will drive people away.
I have heard Christians say some wonderful things that have had a positive effect on unbelievers. And I have heard Christians say some nasty things that have had a negative effect on unbelievers.
I have heard Christians say some nasty things to believers that have hurt Christ’s church. I have heard Christians say some wonderful things that have strengthened Christ’s church.
Consider some of the types of words Christians should use.
CALM WORDS – Proverbs 15:1
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
You have heard men or women explode in anger.
You have probably been the victim of a tirade of words that have left you reeling.
You have probably been incensed when someone has lashed out verbally at you, and might have responded with your own heavy artillery of harsh, angry words.
We can not control the temperature, harshness, or volume of the words of another. We can, however, try to control the temperature, harshness and volume of our own words.
Often, a soft answer will cause the person who is “hot under the collar” to cool down. A person who is yelling, just might realize how ridiculous he must sound in comparison to the one who is talking softly.
A soft answer, in dealing with people who have done wrong or offended us, will also help keep us from a lot of angry, violent reactions. People are less likely to become angry if they are talked to in a quiet way.
One of the secrets to giving a soft answer involves controlling our own anger. Proverbs gives us some good advice on that as well.
Proverbs 3:30 – Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.
Proverbs 19:11 – The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
We must learn to ask God to control us through His Holy Spirit.
As the Holy Spirit controls us, our words will be under control as well as our anger. Galatians 5:22-23
CAUTIOUS WORDS – Proverbs 10:19, Proverbs 11:13
Proverbs 10:19 – In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
Have you ever said something you were sorry for later?
We say things especially in anger, that we don’t really mean, and yet the damage is done!
Have you noticed that the more a person talks, the more likely he or she is to say something they shouldn’t say?
When we put no damper on our words, we are likely to say things that are either sinful or disturbing to someone else.
Psalm 141:3 is a good prayer for us to memorize and say every day. Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
Not only should we cautious about the amount of our words, but we need to be cautious about the quality of our words.
Proverbs 11:13 – A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
We should be cautious not to repeat things we know are not true.
We should be cautious not to repeat things we are not sure are true.
We should be cautious not repeat things that are true, but are not worth repeating.
We do more to hurt the credibility of other Christians, often when we don’t mean to, just by repeating things that need not be repeated.
Gossip is a terrible thing.
CORRECTIVE WORDS – Proverbs 11:14, Proverbs 25:12
Proverbs 11:14 – Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
Every Christian should have a mentor.
A mentor is a person that will help us grow in our Christian faith, and one we trust for good, solid counsel. A mentor is also a person not afraid to correct us when we need it.
You are probably familiar with two friends in the Bible. The older man was named Jonathan. He was the king’s son. The younger man was David. They were fast friends, I’m sure David was able to learn and be encouraged by the words and actions of Jonathan. One time David was on the run, fleeing for his life from King Saul.
1 Samuel 23:16 – And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.
Who is your David? Who can you encourage this week? Who are you mentoring?
Proverbs 25:12 – As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
My friends there are times when we all need to be corrected.
And when we are let us be thankful when people do it in a kind, constructive way.
I don’t think any of us want to be known as people who can’t be corrected. Such people do exist.
Proverbs 9:8 – Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
There will also be times when we need to do the correcting. Just as a piece of gold jewelry is beautiful, so is the correction of a friend by a friend. It is beautiful when the one doing the correcting is wise and the one receiving the correction is open to constructive criticism.
Galatians 6:1 – Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
We all need corrective words.
We all need to learn to share corrective words tactfully.
COMMENDABLE WORDS – Proverbs 25:11
Proverbs 25:11 – A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Nobody is certain what “apples of gold in pictures of silver” refer to. Perhaps it refers to golden fruit on a silver serving tray. Or it might refer to ornamental golden jewelry in a silver setting. Whatever it refers to, we are being told that the right word spoken at the right time by the right person is a beautiful thing.
It is commendable.
There have been times when you’ve needed a word of encouragement and someone gave it. That was a word fitly spoken.
There have been times when you’ve need to know some information so your thinking wouldn’t be clouded. Someone gave that. That was a word fitly spoken.
There have been times when you’ve need correction and someone quietly and tactfully did that. That was a word fitly spoken.
There have been times when a preacher has given just the message you needed to hear. That was a word fitly spoken.
There was probably a time when you needed to hear the Gospel of Christ, and someone shared the Gospel with you. That was a word fitly spoken.
Thank God for the people who have fitly spoken in your life. These were commendable words.
Ask God to help you speak to commendable words to others.
Ask God to give you a chance this week to share the right words with the right people at the right time.