Aptly Spoken

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

Can I just tell you that this is one of the first verses I ever memorized? I did not memorize it by going to my bible and reading, no this came via my grandmother or mamaw as we called her. Any time I would start running my mouth about anything and complaining, usually, loudly she would quote this verse to me. I cannot tell you how many time I had it said to me as a child and teenager. It got to the point that I would mouth the words as she quoted them. I had no idea until I was an adult that I discovered where in the Bible these words were, but I knew one day I would find them and I did.

She so desperately wanted me to tame my tongue, to learn to control the garbage of stuff that flowed out of it when life was being unkind to me. The hateful hurtful things that my mouth would spew. But I have to admit I was fascinated by the picture this verse put in my mind. I would ponder it after I calmed down, wondering if I could get my words right, in line with the Lord?

In my very imaginative state, I would see all these words made out of silver l shiny and beautiful sitting on a golden platter. They were pretty words, kind words and I would marvel at how they looked. They were words that my mamaw would use to talk about God, life, others. She always had a kind word to say to everyone and about everyone. He words were never spoken harshly or out of place, and they were always tempered with grace.

I used my words as weapons on too many occasions back in the day. They came from the pain inside of me. From my heart. I wanted others to feel as worthless as I felt.

So, what is a word spoken aptly? What does aptly mean? Well, it is a word used in an appropriate, suitable way. Such as the Grand Canyon, Grand is a great way to describe what you see when standing and looking at this vast open space that looks as though God ran his finger through the dirt. It is truly an amazing place to see if you have not been.

My words were not spoken appropriately, they were not proper or suitable. They were just a barrage of emotions voiced out loud meant to hurt. What my mamaw so desperately wanted me to learn is that our words wound. They can be said so recklessly and cause such pain and destruction. And once they are out we cannot take them back. Oh, we can say we are sorry and even gain forgiveness, but they can never be forgotten or unspoken. We sometimes live with not only the regret of our words but the consequences as well.

I often listened to my mamaw speak at conferences and in her Sunday school. The tenderness with which she spoke was like a healing balm on my heart and soul. More than anything I wanted the picture image of the apples to be my actuality. I wanted my words to be healing words, kind words. Words filled with love and laughter; words to build up and not tear down. Over time, God changed my words. I asked for his help in taming my tongue. I wanted him to help me learn when to speak and when to be silent. Not to let my mouth run like a motor spewing out unkindness or gossip. It was not cussing words I spoke, no it was just hateful sometimes hate-filled words.

Jesus has done a mighty work in my heart over the years and a mightier work with my tongue. He has taught me to sometimes be silent and other times to speak. I have asked for wisdom from him to come instead of my words. Sometimes I slip out with a sour comment, but for the most part, my words look more like the platter of silver and gold I imagined all those years ago. I never want to be sorry for something I said. I do not want my word to be used as a sword against anyone.

Maybe you find that your words are too many, unkind, unloving, judgemental or something else. It is His desire that we are well spoken, representing Him at all times. Just ask and he can do for you what he has done for me and then you to can speak a word aptly.