Charitable Words

They’re actually things, you know. Only one I can think of right now is “seat”. It’s a “charitable word” because you can elide (remove) any of the letters and still have a word left over: eat, sat, set, sea… That’s what it means. But it also means something else.

“A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” (Proverbs 15:13, emphasis mine)

When we’re at a loss for charitable words, as I am right now, we should turn our attention to God. God always knows just what to say at the exact right moment. Peter says “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves” (1 Peter 4:8) Our words are of inestimable value to our brothers and sisters in Jesus. Because it’s God Himself speaking through you to encourage and edify and fill them.

One word from God can silence or drown out a lifetime of criticism and backbiting and slander. Those things sting immensely and God’s word of encouragement (whatever it may be) is the gentlest, most soothing salve for the pain inflicted by such torment.

“…for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” (Matthew 10:20) Take God at His word…

As I think about it, I suppose “read” might be one: red, rad, ade, ear.

Where do we begin? Look at the things that God has spoken to us. Seek out the words of God (and His writers) that brighten your day, your life. If you feel that they’re spoken just for you, fine. Keep looking. And if you feel compelled to share something that you know would bless others, by all means do it–when the Holy Spirit presents the opportunity. We as a church need to open the floodgates of conversation within our foyers and courtyards. In order to do so, I believe that we must hear God speak these things to us, first. Words of encouragement scattered liberally throughout the whole of the Bible. Take Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” God’s encouragement is there when we need it. Look to Him and go ahead and selflessly give to others what you yourself need, knowing that God will fill you up in turn. If it looks hard, then stop thinking about it and do it. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)

Isaiah (50:4) speaks of Jesus: “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary…”

Don’t be afraid to say what’s on your heart and pass the charitable word that blessed you on to someone else. Unlike the actual “charitable word”, God’s words of “spirit and life” (John 6:63)) don’t diminish with the telling. They actually increase. It may be linguistically impossible, but it works spiritually.

Here’s one of my favorites: “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

God bless you!

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