Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Letters on Words: Apples of Gold

{Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience and Holley Gerth at Heart to Heart with Holley are co-hosting a series of letters about loving Jesus and one another with words. Click on the links to see what these lovely, wise ladies have to say!}

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
Proverbs 25:11

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Ephesians 4:29

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Even as gracious words,fitly spoken, can bring life and freedom, oh, how much do words denied bring death and bondage! How often we live enslaved to the words we've never heard.

I forgive you.
I remember you.
You are enough.
I choose you.
I want you.
I know you.
You are lovely.
It gets better.
You are not stupid.
You are not weak.
I need you.
I am proud of you.
There is hope.

The silence left by the absence of these words can become so great that it clogs up our ears, making it impossible to hear anything. The need to hear them can become so great that we can perceive nothing else; we become enslaved to the silence.

This is why it is so important to not only keep a close watch over that which we do say, but also over that which we fail to say. It is important to remember that the door of our lips can lock grace, as well as evil, in. I pray I am blessed enough to let loose the words that may bring healing, grace, and peace to another.

But its not enough to simply say the words. Proverbs describes as apples of gold, a word "fitly" spoken. This excludes haphazard, thoughtless words intended to placate. A gracious word unfitly spoken is faithless and empty.

Ephesians teaches us so much about how we are to care for one another, about how to love and build one another up in strength and honesty. A corrupt word is a dead word, one destined to plant a seed of hope only to be found molding and rotting as time goes on. Or it will be forgotten altogether.

On the contrary, a word of truth is an anchor. It gives strength to the weak and breathes life into the weary. A corrupt or hastily uttered bit of encouragement has no such power.

May our words be found full of truth and life, full of hopes that do not wither with time. May our words give grace to the hearer.

--Sarah Elizabeth

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