A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
When King Solomon wrote this statement, I believe he was referring to a royal custom; The king would often invite dignitaries from around the world to magnificent feasts at the palace. Toward the end of the meal, a beautiful silver basket, filled with golden apples was passed around, and every guest was invited to take one of the golden apples. Solomon wanted the us to understand that well timed, beautiful words can be as precious as these golden apples.
Most of us know that Old rhyme ‘Sticks/stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me’ and we know it’s not true because words can hurt and wound, very deeply.
Even Adolf Hitler knew the importance of words. He knew how to use words to manipulate people into getting what he wanted. He once boasted that he would conquer more nations by the pen than by the sword. In the two world wars, with his cruel, anti Semitic, inhumane and evil words Hitler did lasting damage so deep that it still remains, etched into the hearts of the families he wounded over 70 years ago. The damage he did with his words was as devastating, if not more, than all the bombs that were dropped.
As Christians we have a responsibility to ‘give golden apples’ to everyone we come into contact with and how much more within the Body – the church. We have the Spirit of God, living in our very hearts, ready to pour out through us to touch the lives of others, when we make ourselves available to Him:
“The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.”
A single word can change a life. Just a word of encouragement – a ‘well done’, ‘you’re doing a good job’, ‘I’ve seen the efforts you’re making’ or ‘you’re not alone, I’m praying for you’.
We never really know what people are going through, and we have no idea the impact a word of appreciation, a simple ‘thank you’ or a few words of encouragement can do.
Let’s make it our goal to give out even just one golden apple today.