Power of a word

I've been reminded lately of how often words can be misused on social media and the harm that can bring. Digitalnun's post today 'Trial by Social Media' is well worth a read on this topic. 

'A Wise Word: Reflection on Proverbs 25:11' was one of my 2014 posts on the Big Bible Project website. Here's what I wrote there and it seems worth re-blogging it  here, if only to remind myself.

Social Media is full of words – funny, sad, silly, wise, cruel, kind, judgemental, helpful, beautiful, ugly.

Posting on Twitter, Facebook and all the rest is so quick, it’s easy to say things we later regret. How many times have you re-tweeted a tweet that seems to be news, but without pausing to check the facts, so your tweet becomes false gossip or even slander. Or perhaps it is true but expressed in a cruel way? You know the sort of thing.

Dave Roberts has a helpful Proverbs related post about our use of words in Words! Aaaarggh! Do take a look.

My post today is about one particular saying from the Book of Proverbs, beautifully illustrated in the image (at the head of this post) by Alison Lait. She says that some people “have the gift of saying just the right thing”. I think that’s a God-given gift and can be developed and encouraged.

Proverbs 25: 11 says this
“A word fitly spokenis like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (NRSV)
Here is my reflection on what the nature of a “a word fitly spoken” might be. I leave it to you to think about how that can apply in social media use.


“A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

A word that fits
fits the time,
respects the place,
suits the person.

A word that speaks
speaks with wisdom,
communicates truth,
from a heart of love.

A word that discerns
discerns the situation
refrains from judging
does not condemn.

A word that is crafted
crafted with skill
fashioned with care
shaped to fit.

“A word fitly spoken
is like apples of goldin a setting of silver.”

Image Credit: Flickr, CC License


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