11 Timely advice is lovely,
like golden apples in a silver basket.
— Proverbs 25:11

Words. We speak them. We write them. We use them. We abuse them. Do we aptly, fitly, carefully choose them?

A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

Our daughter was three years old when I went back to school full-time. One Saturday morning, during my first semester, I was furiously cleaning the house, hoping to have some time to study. My husband was at work. I checked on our daughter, who was playing in her room, before heading to the other side of the house to clean our bedroom and bathroom. In one of the "mother moments", I realized it had been a tad too long since I had checked on our daughter and the house was eerily quiet. I rushed out of the room to check on her. She was fine! BUT, the family room that I HAD JUST CLEANED had been transformed into a Cabbage Patch/Barbie doll Wonderland. I mean, every doll, every blanket, every piece of clothing, every accessory- the stroller, the crib, the Barbie house ( you get the picture) - was strewn all over the family room.
"Brooke," I said, " what are you doing???? Look at this mess. Don't you know that I just cleaned this room. You have stuff everywhere!! I can't believe you did this. I don't have time for this!!" As my rant continued, my daughter rose from tending to her "baby." She put her hands on her hips and stretched her little three year old body as tall as it would stretch. "Mommy, " she said, " you are driving me up the wall!"

Some of you are probably thinking that she needed to be sent to time out. The truth is that the one who needed to be in time out was ME! My words were spoken out of frustration, stress, and selfishness. Her words- aptly spoken- made me realize exactly what I had done. There was nothing golden about my words and they definitely weren't set in silver. Our daughter in grown with children of her own. But I can still visualize that little three year old teaching her stressed out mother a valuable lesson.

Words. The Bible often reminds us of the power of our words and the need to control our tongues. We should try to emulate Jesus whose words gave life. John 6:63. Luke 4:22 tells us that the people were amazed at the "gracious words" that Jesus spoke. Are your words life-giving ? Are they aptly, fitly, carefully chosen? Do those around you feel uplifted and encouraged? Or, are you driving people up the wall???

Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight. ( Psalm 19:14) 

Gail Moulds