The Expository Files.


A "Word Fitly Spoken"

Proverbs 25:11

Sometimes we know exactly what needs to be said -- we have the facts down -- but we do not give enough thought to how these things are said. In regard to some issue or controversy, or when it is necessary to speak out against some sin or error, we know exactly what should be said, but we fail in HOW we say it. We preach the truth, but without love. We say what needs to be said, but with such an overbearing arrogance or anger, our listeners cannot hear the message; it is covered up by all the "attitude."

But the bible tells us that "a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." This is a beautiful image or picture -- apples of gold, surrounded by or set in silver. There is a similar statement in Prov. 16:24, "Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones." Obviously we need to give attention to how we speak, as well as what we speak. And we need to understand what good we can do when our words are accompanied by a caring and pleasant attitude. Prov. 15:28 says that "the heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil."

We are obligated to speak the truth in love, and let our speech be always with grace, "seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one," (Eph. 4:15, Col. 4:6).

A "word fitly spoken" would be the right thing, said at the right time, in the right place, to the right person, in the right way and for the right purpose. And Jesus illustrated this perfectly.

By Warren E. Berkley
The Final Page
From Expository Files 5.4; April 1998