Like apples of gold in settings of silver,
so is a word skillfully spoken.
Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold,
so is a wise reprover to the ear of the one who listens.
Yesterday, we talked about how we ought to solve our problems for ourselves instead of taking people to court. And how we live in a society that tends to neglect face to face confrontation and takes the easy way out.
I’ve always heard this proverb in the context of sharing wise words. And while I can easily see how it can be used that way, I don’t necessarily think that’s the specific aim of this proverb. I think it ties into the idea of correcting an issue in a wise manner. And it may be speaking quite literally in it’s metaphor. You might be saving your gold by using wise words to reprove.
You’ve seen the scene a thousand times in movies and TV shows. It’s the one where someone says what everyone watching the show knows. And that character who says the wise thing that we all know should be said, is usually berated by the one doing the stupid thing. But then, somewhere at the end of the show the stupid person realizes their stupidity and that the other person was right and they apologize. Usually after they’ve made a big mess of things.
So, how about us? None of us like to hear the things we need to hear. And probably fewer of us like to say the things that need to be said. But, what if you knew that saying the words or hearing them would save you far more than if you do what you don’t want to do. It almost always would save us a lot wouldn’t it? It would save us a lot of pain in relationships, a lot of money and a lot of regret.
So, let me give you a challenge. If you need to hear the words, and someone is brave enough to speak them, listen. If you need to speak the words to someone who desperately needs to hear them, speak them.
The words you speak or hear could be worth more than anything else.