"Shhhh…" says the librarian with her mouth strongly pursed and her pointer finger forcefully pressed to her lips.
"Hush!" The mother of many whisperingly exclaims, stretching her eyes wide open and using a tender pointer finger waving rapidly back and forth to the siblings rowdily coming into the house of a sleeping baby.
"Shush," blurts the grandmother as she sternly tries to gain control of a mouthy grandchild. It is followed with, "Shush your mouth," as emphasis with her downward-tilted head and a gleam in her loving eyes to support the catch and release of her enduring love to secure an amicable atmosphere.
"Ah-hum…" as an exaggerated cough is directed to a gathering of questioning reporters to corral their attention.
Yet, a silent, seasoned TED Talk speaker stands and scans the audience until their curiosity is captured and held, then he assertively manages to lock their attentive eyes to his very own. Without him saying a word, the audience is anticipating wisdom to flow from the stage. The content of the TED Talk has been carefully crafted to align with the standard of the proverb "A fitting word is as a golden apple placed in a setting of silver."
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Let us be silent so we can hear the whispers of God." The whisper of God is the Holy Spirit prompting us to what we should say. We should imitate Jesus who only spoke what His Heavenly Father told Him to say and do. But what about our silence and wisdom? Knowing the tongue is like a ship's rudder (James 3:4-5), are we intricately aware of the direction we are sailing? Will our words stir up anger and strife, or will they be soothing to an anguished soul? Will they be thought provoking as a conversation seasoned with salt, drawing the listener to seek and dig the deeper meaning? Are our words churning up the soil of their heart, making it a fertile oasis to plant the Word of God? Is it given freely without hidden agendas to tease, taunt, or produce pain-filled sarcasm? Or is it watering a freshly, already planted Word to bring it to steady growth which produces fruition?
We need to wisely choose our words to our friends, family, and colleagues. Silent time with Jesus, allowing Him to open our hearts to the leading of His Holy Spirit—that is what we need to be able to speak life to others. The Word of God tells us to encourage one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16), which will richly satisfy the hunger in our own hearts for deep fellowship with others who share the love of Jesus.
"Give and it shall be given unto you (Luke 6:38)," is not just concerning our money. It can be applied to our words. Reading the Word of God renews our mind, and as we seek deeper understanding of the Scriptures, we are filling our hearts with life-giving words, not just for ourselves but also for others.
Our Heavenly Father's nature is love, so much so that He gave us His Son Jesus as a sacrifice to appease His wrath against the sins of this world. We are to love as He loves. The Holy Spirit influenced the writers of scriptures, and the results are love letters to us showing us the true nature and love the Heavenly Father has for us. As we read the Word of God, our hearts are being filled with His love. And since "Out of the abundance of our heart our mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34; Luke 6:45)," we had best keep a tight rein on our tongue.
The only way we can control our tongue is to live a life that is led by the Holy Spirit. It is so important that we "think on things that are good, wholesome, and of good report (Philippians 4:8),” because the Word says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7)." And the truth is that you become your thought life!
We want to speak life to all those around us. Be mindful of the Word that has been put into us when we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, and trust that He filled us with everything we will ever need when we said "yes" to be born again in our own spirit; and, through our baptism, we declared death to our old ways of living and accepted being raised from the dead just as Jesus did to a new life of God-centered living. The Holy Spirit is there to empower us to live the life that will give glory to our three-in-one God [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit]. Our diligence to spend time reading and studying the Word of God allows the Holy Spirit to reveal more understanding of His Word and to change our hearts from cold rebellion to passionate love for God. This will help us to think about what, how, and if we should say something to someone. His gentle hush not to say it, or His downloading what to say, comes with a constant mandatory leaning on the Holy Spirit to guide us. He has given us wisdom to be able to think of a situation from different perspectives, as well as how to filter the scenario through His own eyes. He helps us to choose our words wisely. He helps us to guard our tongues. He will teach us to "shush our own mouths!” Listen, and then speak!
Words I like to think about and pray: “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit into me (Psalm 51:10)”; “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, O Lord, my savior and redeemer (Psalm 19:14)”; “I can do all things through Christ who empowers me (Philippians 4:13)” to live a life that glorifies my Heavenly Father.
Here's to golden apples in settings of silver: life-giving words!