A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
How many times have you found yourself in the middle of a bad day? Or a bad week? Or even a bad month? It seemed as if nothing would go the right way regardless of how hard you tried. Was it so bad that even if something good happened it wasn’t good enough to erase the bad?
What changed it? What turned it around for you? One mother recently told me of a terrible day she was having. She had burned breakfast, had no coffee in her house (I’ll never know how she survived!), her children were behaving wildly, and the dog threw up on the carpet. It sounded like a day out of a cartoon!
That afternoon, the children were down for a nap, the dog was outside sleeping, and the phone rang. It was her sister who lived two states away. They chatted over the typical small talk for a minute and then it happened. The sister told this dear mom what a great job she was doing with her young children. She told her that her actions had influenced the way she parented her own children. This mother was suddenly reminded that she was okay, that her children were okay, and that how she raised them really did matter to people – it made a difference. It was a word in due season.
A word in due season comes in different forms. Sometimes, as in the example above, it is a word of encouragement. Sometimes it may be a word of admonishment. It could be the perfect piece of advice you need at that moment. It could be a reminder of something you’ve been told a dozen times. And it may be that word to remind you just how wonderful you really are.
It was the latter that turned me around most recently. After three very difficult events in as many weeks, an acquaintance, who I don’t know well at all, said to me, “[Your actions] show that you value yourself. At times, we can only take so much. Then it is all about self- preservation. There is nothing wrong with loving yourself more than the people who are trying to pull you down!”
While others had said they were sorry things were so difficult for me, or told me to get over it, or reminded me of my position and accomplishments, this person reminded me that I have value.
We forget that sometimes. Consider the woman living in an abusive relationship who refuses to leave the man who physically assaults her. She doesn’t realize her value, doesn’t think that she is worthy of respect. Think of the child who sits on the sidelines afraid to play because he is ‘not good enough.’ What about the man who refuses to leave his bad job for a much better one because he doesn’t believe he will be successful? He doesn’t see his value and is therefore afraid to try a new career. Realizing our value not only prevents us from surrounding ourselves with harmful people, it allows us to see that we are worth enough to give ourselves a chance to grow.
A word spoken in due season, how good it is!
Your challenge: find the person who needs that word and give it to them. Whether it is encouragement, admonishment, a reminder, or a blessing, don’t be afraid to speak a truth into someone’s life. It may be the very thing he/she needs to hear.