This is a guest post by Josh Norman

    “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” – Proverbs 25:11 

    Reflecting on the end of the Winter Olympics, there might not be a more relevant verse than the one above! Teams and individuals alike competed for one of three coveted places on the victor’s podium in order to take home either the gold, silver, or bronze medal. What is arguably the pinnacle of any athlete’s career whose been fortunate enough to compete in the Olympics, landing a spot on that podium is one of the clearest ways of seeing their hard-work, sacrifice and dedication pay off. That medal is theirs, and it comes with knowing they have succeeded. Not to mention bragging rights for the next four years! 

    Think about this for a moment: have you ever had a coach whose words were inspiring, insightful and full of wisdom? Ever had a captain who with a locker-room speech was able to rally and encourage your team during those seemingly impossible moments? Or maybe a teammate or two who rarely spoke, but when they did, their words seemed to be “like gold”?

    Words are Powerful

    In Genesis, God spoke and the world was created. The prophets of the Old Testament spoke to Israel regarding God’s greatness and love towards them. By simply speaking, Jesus drove out demons and healed people. The Apostles proclaimed the Gospel and by their words lives were dramatically changed. So when Solomon shared this wisdom regarding words, he was right on….because words are powerful 

    When a word is carelessly thrown around, it can create damage. Everyone at some point or another has experienced this; and, regrettably, has said something they later wished they could take back. But the beauty of this proverb shows that a word spoken fittingly (or a better way to read it is “a hopeful word that is spoken at just the right time…”) is so valuable that it is like winning the gold medal and being given the silver medal on top – it goes above and beyond it’s worth! And if we are honest, it is not always easy to control our words, but this proverb among others reminds us that if we take a step and try to control our words, there is much to benefit from it (i.e. 12:18; 13:3; 15:1-2, 4; 16:24)

    What are you going to do about it?

    So the next time you’re out on the ice, at home or work, or with your friends, remember this: your words are powerful. They have the ability to influence and make an impact. If you are a coach, remember that your words are looked up to by your players; use them not to tear down but to encourage and instruct with hope. If you are a captain, keep in mind that what you say can either deflate your teammates or help them find that untapped strength they need to overcome your opponent. Or if you are a player, ask yourself this: who doesn’t like to hear a positive word? So think about what you say, ask yourself if it is something worth saying and if it is, should it be said right then and there, or can it wait? Regardless of who you are on the team, just remember that a word spoken well will more times than not be taken right to heart and surely produce amazing results!

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