The Fruit of Our Lips

Words have power. Words are not just sounds that we hear; they are living, powerful realities that can either help or harm. In the book of Proverbs, Solomon teaches about human speech. Proverbs 25:11 states: “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver” (NRSV). The word fitly is a translation of a term used in ancient contexts to describe a rolling wheel. Therefore, we can understand the words “fitly spoken” to indicate quickness in the right moment; words that are just in time. Similarly, Solomon indicates in this proverb that we want our words to be expressed in the correct “setting” for the moment, pouring forth in the most beneficial way. We are challenged to speak our words with the same intention as we would when placing lovely fruit in a silver basket or on a silver tray.

With this in mind, we might ask: What kind of words should we speak? We can always remember that the most beautiful words ever spoken are those in the Word of God. In the book of Genesis, chapter 1, we see that God speaks and His spoken word creates whatever He has determined it to create. Jesus tells us in a parable in Luke 8:11, “The seed is the word of God” (NIV). In Hebrews 4:12, we are told that “the word of God is living and active” (NIV). If we speak God’s Word to others, we are bringing God’s Word—living seed—to the one in need. The right word at the right time has the power to heal and strengthen, to guide, and to rescue (see Prov. 16:24).

We can all develop this excellent skill of word-seed planting because we all have opportunities when a life-giving word, particularly the seed of God’s Word, can be placed ever so beautifully into the soil of another’s heart. We sometimes think that our words are not effective or do not seem to be the right words for the situation. However, if our own words are infused with God’s Word, the living nature of His Word can plant a seed of life and hope in all types of situations.

When we think of the words we speak as seeds, we can keep in mind that seeds in the natural need a combination of temperature, moisture, and light to begin to grow in their environment. The key to a seed’s growth is that it is planted. For example, the largest and most productive apple tree in an orchard was once a tiny seed. It had to be planted, cultivated, and nourished until it grew to fruition.

As we notice in Proverbs 25:11, Solomon tells us our words are like apples of gold. While it is debated among scholars as to what type of apple and whether apples were actually present in the land of Israel in the time of Solomon, we can still learn from the fruit analogy. Today, there are over 7,500 varieties of apples grown in the world. We can think of our words and opportunities to use our words as being as varied as the types of apples that exist throughout the earth. It is interesting to note that not all apples are alike. Indeed, some are better for eating, while some are better for cooking and baking, and some for general purposes. Who would have thought that there were so many varieties and ways to consider the use of apples? The abundance of apples is like our words—many words are available, but some will be more appropriate for the setting in which they are used.

Perhaps you have heard of Johnny Appleseed. He is part of early American history because he carried apple seeds wherever he went and planted them in sparsely settled areas of the United States. He was a pioneer planter and went about strengthening the economy of the rich farming areas of northern Ohio and Indiana in the 1800s. His efforts helped to spread apple-growing in the United States. Today, we can also be pioneer seed planters everywhere we go. We can make it a goal to carry the seeds of God’s Word, placing His beautiful words of peace, hope, and love in just the right settings. Where can you plant the seed of God’s Word today?

Seeds from God’s Word to Carry and Sow~

He knows your name: Is. 43:1
He sees your every move: Ps. 139:7
He thinks about you: Ps. 139:17
He is with you: Josh. 1:9
He will fight for you: Ex. 14:14
He made you in His image: Gen. 1:27
He is your safe place: Ps. 62:6–8
He has a plan for you: Jer. 29:11
He is good: Ps. 119:68
He is freedom: 2 Cor. 3:17
He is always with you: Matt. 28:20

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