“A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!”
In yesterday’s Proverbial Thought – “Purposes Established!”, it was discussed just how important it is to seek counsel. Today’s verse we flip to the other side of the coin and talk about when someone come to us seeking advice what is our response. Today’s verse focuses on not only giving the right advice but giving it at the appropriate time. I love the way the HCSB says our verse, “A man takes joy in giving an answer; and a timely word — how good that is!”
The book of Proverbs contains many words of advice and wisdom regarding our speech. It also gives us several reasons for our words:
- Our words can cheer – Proverbs 12:25
- Our words can correct – Proverbs 25:11-12
- Our words can calm – Proverbs 15:1
It’s All About the Timing
As it was says earlier, a wise person not only knows the correct response to give but also gives it at the correct time. This wise counsel was given to us in Ecclesiastes 8:5-6:
“Whoever keeps a command will know no evil thing, and the wise heart will know the proper time and the just way. For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him.”
Proverbs 25:11 also tells us:
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”
We have all either heard of stories or experienced them ourselves. The story of someone going through a hard time, having a loved one die or receiving some extremely bad news. And then it happens. Someone who is trying to console them with words tells them of their cousin’s best friend’s mother who went through the exact same thing but tells them of the horrific end that took place.
Why do we (yes, I have done this myself) think this is going to make them feel better? The timing was way off and not at all comforting to the receiver.
This reminds me Job. During the time that he was devastated by the news he had just received, three visitors came to him and basically started telling him it was all his fault. How is that for positive reenforcement!
Solomon is telling us in our verse that the proper words spoken at the proper time will be good news to both the giver of those words and the receiver.
So the next time you are going to give advice to someone, not only remember that there are right words to say but that there is also the right time to say them.