11 A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man's rebuke to a listening ear.
On our second day of considering these verses, I thought I might bring in another of Solomon's proverbs, that we covered earlier --- Proverbs 18:21 tells us the "the tongue has the power of life and death." Our "death" words can crush a person's spirit and leave them feeling there is no hope. I'm sure that we can all remember times that someone has said something to us that hurt very deeply. Perhaps they said it in jest -- a "just kidding" kind of remark. But you know, that doesn't make it hurt any less.
Usually, we don't intend to hurt someone. It just pops out. I'm sure there have been times when you (and I) have said something that hurt someone. What a guilt that is. I always try to apologize the moment that I know, and then make up for it somehow. But that may not be entirely possible sometimes.
Then there are the "life" words: the words that Solomon referred to as "aptly spoken." He told us in Proverbs 15:4 that "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life."
We've probably all been in situations where a child needed a "good word" or some encouragement. Well, we adults do, too. Paul tells us that we, too are in the race and we need encouragement, we too need to hear those words that inspire, encourage, and give life.
Hebrews 12:1, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us...”
And we not only have witnesses, we have each other:
Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
As I completed this study, I found myself more than ever praying this prayer:
Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”