Fitting Words

8 Feb

“Did you hear the one about the pregnant woman who went into labor and began to yell, ‘Couldn’t! Wouldn’t! Shouldn’t! Didn’t! Can’t!’?

“She was having contractions.” ~ from the February San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild newsletter

Woman - Contractions

LOL! (Actually, labor is no laughing matter. But I (Dawn) have to admit that we had fun with this in our book, LOL with God, on page 92.

Just a few of the things a man should never say to a pregnant woman during labor:

  • “I wish we men could experience the beautiful miracle of childbirth. How did you get so lucky?”
  • “If you think this is pain, let me tell you about the time I broke my elbow playing tennis.”
  • “Do you think Junior will arrive before the guys are supposed to come over to watch the Superbowl?”
  • And my favorite:  “Honey, did you want me to write down everything you say during labor for the baby book?”

“How insensitive!” we say. But sometimes we might also act without insensitivity and say inappropriate things, especially if we speak before we think, or fail to examine life from someone else’s perspective.

Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Golden Apple

Some describe “settings” as a bowl, perhaps similar to the Asians’ filigree silver baskets. Perhaps this bowl of fruit was a gift to King Solomon. The golden apples might have been actual fruit, or crafted golden ones. One source says “apples” is  the poetic name for the aurea mala (a golden-toned orange).  Regardless, the king looked upon the lovely fruit and said there was something of equal or better value:  excellence of speech that is wise,  judicious, opportune, and encouraging.

“Apt” words are timely (Proverbs 15:23) and helpful. It is a joy to give an “apt reply.” This kind of speech is described in Isaiah 50:4 as “well instructed… knowing the word that sustains the weary.”

There is another translation of Proverbs 25:11 that says, “A word fitly spoken… “ I like the simplicity of that. Have you ever spoken the perfect words to someone that encouraged her (or his) heart? I have. And it was only because I knew some scriptures that were God’s perfect message in the moment. We need to memorize some “fitting” verses so we’ll have them on hand when we need them ~ or at least know how to find them quickly. And then, we need to be careful that we always speak with love and compassion ~ even if we’re sharing a tough truth (Ephesians 4:15a).

I want to speak the right words at the right time, with the right spirit, to whoever needs them. Don’t you?

Consider this … would someone give you Solomon’s  “Golden Apple” award for the words you’ve shared in the past few days? What can you do to increase your “fitting” words?

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