The Bible says words aptly spoken are like apples of gold in settings of silver (Proverbs 25:11). If I had a silver bowl full of gold apples, not only would it be a thing of great beauty, but obviously one of very great value, too. There is great power in our words to do wonderful, beautiful things. And one way is through timely words—aptly spoken words. They are delightful.

What is a timely word? That’s when you say something to someone at just the right moment. How often people have done this for me. I’ll be having some discouragement or doubts, and someone will call or say to me a word that simply delights my heart and picks me right out of the dumps. You’ve had that happen to you. Just when you feel like you look terrible, someone says, “Wow, you really look nice today.” Just when you feel like a failure, you hear, “That was a terrific job you did.” And just those few words can turn you completely around.

One principle I taught managers was, “Try to catch your employees doing something right—and the minute you do, tell them.” That’s a timely word, and it can do more for morale and productivity than any other management technique you can learn. Try it on someone. Catch them doing something right, and tell them immediately.

Words of encouragement are beautiful as well. Can you think of someone who needs encouragement today? Take the time to give them that aptly spoken word of encouragement

When someone is suffering, you may not have any great words of wisdom, but you can always say, “I’m so sorry. I know how it hurts.” Frequently, a sympathetic word—simply hurting with those who are hurting—is just what that person needs.

Well, the Bible sure has a lot to say about the words we speak. And there’s no question that we have the power of life and death in our tongues. I want to challenge you t­o join me in determining, by God’s grace, to use your tongue to bring life and not death, to yourself and to others. What a testimony that would be! Why should we settle for anything less? Let’s go for it.

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