On the wall in my classroom I had a sign which stated WORDS ARE POWER TOOLS and this is so very true. Words have the power to destroy or build up and heal and just like any power tool they need to be handled with care. There is always time to add a word but once a word is out, it cannot be taken back regardless of how much we might wish it could.
If you have been reading my blogs, you will know how much I love the Book of Proverbs in the Old Testament. Proverbs 25 v 11: A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Don’t you just love the imagery here? Do you get the impression that a word fitly spoken is quite precious? The Hebrew word translated as “fitly” here is owphan. It appears 36 times in the O.T. but only once is it translated as “fitly”, in the other 35 it is translated into the word “wheel”. https://hermeneutics.stack. This imagery is simply beautiful, literally, a word upon its wheels; a word rolled away smoothly and pleasantly from the lips; a word moving quickly and quietly on its way.
The word wheel carries with it the idea of revolving, connecting to the revolving of the seasons, so it is a word spoken in the right season, at the right time, a ripe word. This imagery also is associated with the revolving of a potter’s wheel, so the word is crafted, well considered, a word of beauty.
The point of a word fitly spoken is that it carries with it every golden opportunity that the word will be a blessing to the hearer. It may be a word of encouragement, instruction, correction, understanding, sympathy or gentle rebuke but its intent and purpose is always to be a blessing to the hearer. And it’s just like my dear mum used to say, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”