The Right Word At The Right Time
Like apples of gold in settings of silver Is a word spoken at the right time.
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% 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 dear people?
Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure.
What is needed is for us to ask an important question- Is there any word from the Lord? We live in a world inundated by words. From political speeches to twenty four hour news, not to mention social media we are often overwhelmed with words. Unfortunately many of them come from faulty humans with faulty knowledge and perceptions. Far too many decisions are made without any time spent consulting with God who is the Omniscient One who knows all about all. In the Old Testament the writings of the prophets often open with, “And the Word of the Lord came unto…..”
A timely word given to us from God is a powerful answer to the dilemmas we often face. In times of trouble it would do us well to seek the wisdom of God, to wait on a word from the Lord rather than reacting or responding impulsively or rashly using our own limited knowledge or wisdom.
We read in the story of Samuel, who as a boy heard the voice of God. In that story we read an important phrase:
Now the boy Samuel was attending to the service of the Lord under the supervision of Eli. The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; visions [that is, new revelations of divine truth] were not widespread.
1 Samuel 3:1
As I read this, I’m reminded that such is the case today. We have lots of views, opinions and ideas, but what we need is a word from the Lord. One night as the word of the Lord came into a room, there were two people present- a little boy and the high priest. Now one would think that if God was going to speak He would speak to the high priest except in this case the priest had closed his heart and spirit. So God spoke to the only one listening, a little ten-year old boy. That was the beginning for that little boy would grow up to become the spokesperson for God. God spoke to him and through him all the days of his life. And how God spoke words of hope and encouragement through this man who first listened to the voice of God before he spoke.
The Bible is filled with stories of those who spoke encouraging, uplifting, directional words just at the right time to the right person(s). Imagine getting a letter from Paul giving direction, encouragement and hope to the church just at the right time.
As I think of all the church is facing, and all the individuals who are in desperate need of of a uplifting word, oh how we need a word from the Lord. We have been given a precious promise from God:
“They will call on My name, And I will listen and answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
So let us in 2022 purpose in our hearts to be those who hear the word of the Lord and those who give a word of the Lord to all who need encouragement.
Dr. John Thompson