Proverbs 15:23 (NIV)
23 A person finds joy in giving an apt reply�and how good is a timely word!
From Matthew Henry�s Commentary: Note, 1. We speak wisely when we speak seasonably: The answer of the mouth will be our credit and joy when it is pertinent and to the purpose, and is spoken in due season, when it is needed and will be regarded, and, as we say, hits the joint. Many a good word comes short of doing the good it might have done, for want of being well-timed. Nor is anything more the beauty of discourse than to have a proper answer ready off-hand, just when there is occasion for it, and it comes in well. 2. If we speak wisely and well, it will redound to our own comfort and to the advantage of others: A man has joy by the answer of his mouth; he may take a pleasure, but may by no means take a pride, in having spoken so acceptably and well that the hearers admire him and say, "How good is it, and how much good does it do!��
Christian businessman and author John D. Beckett shares the following personal story about the redemptive power of speaking the truth in love:
I was in a dental chair being prepped for the replacement of a filling. Just as my mouth was filled with dental hardware so I could only mumble, the dental technician said, out of the blue, "You're Mr. Beckett, aren't you?" I grunted assent.
"Well, I want to thank you for firing my husband."
I was stuck. I couldn't move. I couldn't speak. I could only listen to the ensuing monologue.
"It happened ten years ago," she said. "A few days after your company hired my husband, he was notified he had failed a drug test. You may not recall," she continued, "but you called him into your office before he left. You said, 'I realize I don't have any choice but to terminate you, but I want to tell you something. You're at a crossroads. You can keep going the way you are, and the results are very predictable. Or you can take this as a wake-up call. You can decide you're going to turn your life around.'"
I'm sure the technician couldn't see the beads of perspiration on my forehead under all the paraphernalia as she continued: "I want you to know, my husband took your advice. Today, he's a good father, a good husband, and he has a fine job. Thank you for firing my husband!"
I wish I could say that all our terminations have turned out this way. � Regardless of the outcome, however, we must be prepared to take action when a situation can't be brought around. In a strange way, it's an aspect of our care for people. [John D. Beckett, Mastering Monday (Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2006), pp. 157-158]
We never know when the right word, the right action will have a positive and timely effect in someone�s life. Look for opportunities to share God�s words of truth that may help others and bring you a reward of kindness in the process.