October 16, 2007
A Timely Word
A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is! —Proverbs 15:23n Liverpool, England, on the eve of the 2006 British Open Championship, professional golfer Graeme McDowell was in trouble. The next day he was going into the tournament clueless about what was causing his struggles on the course.
While he was out for the evening, McDowell got a surprise. A stranger, who was an avid golf fan, recognized him and commented that he had noticed a flaw in his swing. The next day, Graeme tested that advice on the driving range, and to his great shock he discovered that the fan had been correct. Satisfied with the value of the change, Graeme implemented the suggestion and finished the first day of the British Open in first place! All because a stranger took time to speak a word of help.
Words are like that. They are powerful instruments for good or for ill. We can use words in destructive ways, or we can use words to build and encourage. This must be what Solomon had in mind when he said, "A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!" (Prov. 15:23).
In a world where words are often wielded as weapons, may we use our words as tools to build up the hearts of others.
Keep my tongue, Lord, bridled well,
Words of truth, oh, may I tell;
Take my heart, its wellspring deep,
Cleanse and purify and keep. —Bosch
Gentle words are more powerful than angry words.