Speaking the Right Word at the Right Time

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. (Proverbs 25:11)

The wisest, most mature, and most effective people are those who capture a moment by saying the right thing in the right way. Quite often, their statements seem to come from out of the blue because the tone of voice and the actual words speak a very different message from what most people expect. Instead of returning anger for anger and backing people into a corner, they calmly speak truth and give options. Instead of being annoyed by a boring person and walking away, they engage in deeper conversation. Instead of using a person’s fears to control him or her, they soothe fear by speaking words of hope.

Researchers tell us that communication is largely nonverbal. Only 7 percent of the impact is in actual words. Facial expressions, gestures, and the tone of voice make up the rest. Words can be “fitly spoken” only if we say them with authenticity, really meaning what we say, and letting our faces, hands, and tone of voice carry the message too.

Messages have incredible power. They can build or destroy, instill hope or take it away. Think about the people you will see today. Some of them are hurting, some are angry, and some have lost hope. What would it mean for you to communicate powerful, life-giving messages of faith, hope, and love to those people?