Take the impurities out of silver,
and a vessel is ready for the silversmith to mold.
⌊Like⌋ golden apples in silver settings,
⌊so⌋ is a word spoken at the right time.
⌊Like⌋ a gold ring and a fine gold ornament,
⌊so⌋ is constructive criticism to the ear of one who listens. (Proverbs 25:4, 11-12 GW)
(Context—Proverbs 25:1-14 GW)
What makes something valuable? Is it scarcity? This is the prevailing and popular belief. But scarcity creates a temporary value not a lasting value.
Lasting value has worth because of intrinsic qualities. Qualities that endure cultural fluctuations, people’s opinions, and time.
Words are valuable when they have an enduring sense of worth. What’s spoken or written isn’t dependent on their situational context or timing.
We live in a day and age when words—written or spoken—have little value. They’re neither scarce nor worthwhile.
An advertising slogan goes, what happens here (said city), stays here. If only this were true about what’s spoken and written on the internet! What gets posted online lingers on long after its initial arrival and eruption in the public forum and can’t be extracted or erased.
How do words become valuable?
How can words become valuable? They need to have intrinsic and enduring worth. Valuable words are true regardless of their situation or time. Truth—pure truth—endures. Its value lives on because it’s untainted.
A precious metal gains value when impurities are removed from it. This requires intense heat and sifting out the dross that collects on the metal’s molten surface—what’s common, corruptive, and invaluable.
When a precious metal such as gold or silver is purified, it becomes mirror-like in its molten state and reflects the image of whoever looks into it, such as the one who refines it.
Words spoken wisely—at the right time and in the right way—are “Like golden apples in silver settings.”
The purity of the silver sets off the purity and beauty of the golden apples. The pure silver frames the gold in a refined and reflective way.
If we want to speak or write valuable words, they need to be true and free of impurities.
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Matt 12:34 NIV)
So, if we want to speak valuable words then our hearts need to be pure. Our motive and intent for saying something needs to be pure—free from bias, malice, jealousy, or other such things.
But how is this possible?
First, the truth of God needs to be valuable to us—as if it were a precious metal or jewel. Then God’s word of truth needs to find an abiding place in our hearts. We need to treasure it.eLikewise, the truth needs to be prominent in our minds and on our tongues. This requires reading and speaking the truth of God so it impacts and refines our thinking.
When we love the truth it will become evident to others. Even truthful and constructive criticism—though hard to hear—will be welcomed for its value.
But keep in mind—only God is able to purify our hearts. He is the master Refiner of hearts (Mal 3:2-3) And God’s Spirit brings to life and reveals the truth of God to us (John 16:13).
When the Lord does His work in us and we reflect Him to others through our life—our words will become valuable when spoken at the right time.
The truth of God needs to be valuable to us and abide in our hearts, and be prominent in our minds and on our tongues. We need to treasure it.
If you know your words aren’t always beautiful and valuable to you and others, or don’t reflect and honor God, ask the Lord to give you an understanding of the value of His truth. Then ask God to help you love the truth in a new and fresh way.
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