Encouraging the Discouraged (Proverbs 25:11)
Proverbs 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”
The person who sets out to be an encourager will never find a shortage of people to help. The word encourage means to put courage into another. Now more than ever, people are more discouraged due to the pressures in life. One of the most overlooked needs that people have is to be encouraged. Often it is easier for us to read the physical needs of people rather than their emotional needs. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). The right word spoken at the right time can make all the difference to someone whose world is crashing. William Arthur Ward said, “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.”
You Can Encourage Others by Extending Friendship.
In Acts 9, we read of Saul who had been an enemy of the early Church—even having some Christians killed. He became a believer, but the Church was still hesitant to receive him into fellowship. Acts 9:26-27 says, “And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.” Barnabas encouraged Saul by extending love and friendship to him. He befriended this new believer.
You Can Encourage Others by Re-Building Relationships.
In Acts 15:36-41, we see that earlier in their ministry, Paul and Barnabas had taken a young John Mark with them on their first missionary journey. Somewhere along the way, Mark left the team and went home. Later, when they wanted to retrace their steps, Barnabas wanted to take Mark with them but Paul refused. Barnabas took Mark one way and Paul took Silas another. Barnabas sought to mend the broken relationship.
II Timothy 4:11, “Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” Later, Paul asked for Mark to come to him. Paul’s relationship with Mark was restored and their ministries continued in part because Barnabas refused to let go of a good man just because he failed.
Good counsel is great or beautiful. Words are verbal or written expressions of our thoughts. They convey what we think to those with whom we desire to communicate. It is not only important what we say to others, but how we say it. Saying the right thing in the right way at the right time can be very effective in making peace with another person. Our speech is to be always with grace, seasoned with salt. When our words or our counsel are fitly spoken, they will be as valuable and beautiful as golden apples. The reference to gold apples in a silver setting describes something that is both exceptionally beautiful and extremely valuable. It rightly illustrates the benefits of well-chosen, properly spoken words that bring reconciliation. Be proficient in your speech. The right word spoken at the right time can be valuable and beneficial.
Wise people are careful in choosing their words when settling differences. Good counsel will help us to prevent hurt feelings and damaged relationships. Our counsel can bring healing to a broken heart. The counsel of our words can cause our enemies to be at peace with us or turn away the wrath of those who are angry. If you think about it, that is worth its weight in gold. How many wars or broken homes could have been avoided by good counsel. The Bible places great value on good words and counsel (Proverbs 11:13; 15:23; 24:26; Ephesians 4:15, 29; Colossians 4:6).
Let's decide to do what we can with the resources the Lord gives us to encourage those who are hurt and struggling. When we see someone in a trial or heartache, let's encouragement them. Those words will mean more than any treasure because God has used our words in wonderful ways.
Points to Ponder:
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.