Proverbs Challenge, October 2016 – Day Twenty-five

A verse in chapter 25 of Proverbs always catches my attention when I read it.  Verse 25 says “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances” (NASB).  One rendering of the verse I remember says “like apples of gold in leaves of silver is a word rightly spoken” and another says “like apples of gold in leaves of silver is a word spoken in season”.  Maybe the verse always seems to grab me because I can be too quick to speak, even when it might be better for me to hold my peace!

As I reflect on the verse, I realize that there is an implication in this wise saying that there are indeed times when no word should be spoken.  We may have a word, and it may even be a good word.  We may have the best of intentions. Yet, implied in the statement, is the reality that there is a time when it is better to not say anything.  On the other hand, as the verse clearly says, there are times when a word (or perhaps more clearly, a phrase or statement) spoken “in right circumstances” becomes a precious and beautiful thing.

In a former career, I remember being instructed that the only proper thing to say to one who had lost a loved one was “I am sorry for your loss”.  We were told to not offer our opinion or say more than simply “I am sorry for your loss” so we would not risk be an offense to someone already grieving.  In my remembrance, I do not recall ever once having someone come to me later and say how much it meant to them for me to say those words “I am sorry for your loss”.  In my calling as a pastor, I can recall numerous times when I would offer a kind word or a simple statement to a family member who was grieving the death of a loved one in that moment when I sensed the Spirit of God prompting me to do so.  For example, I would utter a simple, seemingly unimportant phrase such as “she loved her hummingbirds” at just the moment I felt it appropriate.  Over the years, many of those who heard such simple words spoken in the right circumstances have come back to me to tell of how those words gave great comfort and became a lasting memory.  Maybe that’s why I often reflect on Proverbs 25:11 – Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.

~ by brotherfaron on October 25, 2016.

2 Responses to “Proverbs Challenge, October 2016 – Day Twenty-five”

  1. Dealing with enemies has come up again in this chapter. I thought it was interesting, since King Solomon is credited with most of these proverbs. I remembered from our study of 1 Kings, that Solomon prayed and asked God for supplies and permission to begin building His temple since God had granted him “peace on every side.” There was neither “adversary nor misfortune” in all the land over which he reigned.

    If anyone was qualified to speak on dealing with enemies, it was Solomon. His father David had been a man of war, during most of his reign. Solomon had asked God for wisdom, an understanding heart soon after he became king.

    Peace with others does not just happen. Solomon spoke about giving a soft answer, controlling your temper and now in verses 21 and 22, he instructs us to serve our enemy. This is a prime example of dropping our pride and exchanging it for humility.

    Think of how this can affect our families, neighborhoods, city, and our country! Father, I definitely need help in loving and serving my enemies.

    • I am convinced that loving our enemy is only possible through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. It is not a natural thing to do. I see in Holy Scripture how God loved us while we were adversaries (enemies) with Him. Since He loved us while we were His enemy, He can enable us to love others who are our enemies. I, too, struggle with the call to love my enemy and I pray for God’s enabling power to do so. May you, too, find in Christ the power to do His will.

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