The objects children treasure are quite fascinating. Rocks are one of the first ours discovered. Every single one of them would see a rock they deemed beautiful and have to keep it. When they were very young they indiscriminately loved them all and wanted them all. As they got older they would choose only the most colorful or unique ones.
Words are treasures too. Only I didn’t know this for a long time. Like my young children collecting rocks, I choose my words indiscriminately.
God blessed me with a friend who helped me change that pattern. She is a collector of words and can be quite choosy. She looks for only good, valuable, strong words. She treats each one like a treasure to consider. She doesn’t just haphazardly snatch up each and everyone. She rarely throws them around carelessly.
I have often seen her stop. She is actively thinking…carefully considering. “Are these the right ones or not?” “Maybe I should just wait for others.” She recognizes that all words are not “one size fits all”.
It is an exercise in trust, for both of us. I used to be frustrated knowing that she was processing. I am usually a verbal processor and I wanted to know all of those thoughts she was wading through. And then I realized she trusts the Lord with her words. If she feels pressure to respond it is not apparent. If the timing is not right she will wait. Even if the time is never right it doesn’t seem to bother her.
It is shocking to see this stark contrast in a world that tries to fill endless air time and social media space with any words that come. The quantity of words seems to be far more important than the quality of them.
A well-spoken word at just the right moment is
like golden apples in settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11
This verse explains why her words are so valuable. After years of observation I know that she speaks when she has taken time to find the golden apples. Intentionally spoken she shares only the best treasures.
She is a wordsmith, a craftsman, who considers the spoken word to be a thing of great beauty and value. Those who hear her are blessed by what she says and can trust that she won’t be careless. She will even admit when she doesn’t need to say something.
I want to be like her. I have been impulsive and impetuous with my words more often than not. But having watched and learned for years I am now more careful. I have begun to develop a consideration filter. I lean into the Lord for guidance and counsel.
Just because it sounds good to me doesn’t always mean it needs to be said. Even if I think “it needs to be said” I may not be the one to say it. An aptly spoken word…a timely word, that is what is so valuable.
So we find ourselves with millions of words to pick from just like a riverbank full of rocks. Some are jagged and rough. Others are slimy and mossy. We can be choosey. There are many, many options. It may take some time to decide which words…but that’s ok. We have time. We don’t have to rush and sometimes we may even decide silence is the best option. But there will be times when we find ourselves having chosen well and realizing just how fulfilling an aptly spoken word is. Those words are the best treasures of all.