"To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!
There are certain themes in the Proverbs that cannot be disregarded. One is the use of the tongue. Over and over the writer drills into the hearer the importance of proper use of the tongue and the dangers of its abuse.
Two positive responses are recorded to two positive applications of the tongue in this verse.
"To make an apt answer is a joy to a man...."
When a suitable answer is given to a person regarding a question he might have or a statement he has made, it brings great joy. Let's look at a couple of different scenarios.
Your child is going to a party. She is so excited because it is her best friend's party, and she has made a gift for her that she thinks she will love. Somewhat absentmindedly she asks for the third time, "What time is the party?"
You can respond in different ways. One response might be, "That's the third time you've asked me that question. How many times do I have to tell you before you remember? Just go get dressed. Now!"
(Well, that party balloon just deflated.)
Or you might say, "It's at three o'clock! Not long from now, is it? Hurry and get dressed so that we can go to that fun party."
Oh, the excitement, the joy that answer brings!
"A word in season, how good it is."
This part of the verse indicates that there is a right "season" or time for a proper word. "Good" words may not always be what we think at first contemplation. There is a season or time for a word of loving chastisement when a wrong is done. This is a good word, even though it may not "feel" good at the time. There is a word of comfort when one is in sorrow. When one is angry, there is a "gentle"word that turns away wrath. (Proverbs 15:31) When someone is happy, a word of rejoicing with him brings feelings of goodwill and more happiness.
Our words that we speak are so important that God emphasizes the importance of them over and over--and over! What would this world be like, what would our children be like if we all learned to make apt answers and to give a good word in the right time? Wouldn't it be wonderful to find out? Let's be the first to try to make that happen! Today is a good day to start!
My prayer for today:
"Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!"
Guarding my lips to speak words that bring joy and goodness,