Apples of Gold
This past weekend the Elders, Deacons, and our wives were able to get away for our annual day retreat in which we spend time in fellowship, prayer, study, and planning for the coming year. It is always an encouraging time. It is the only time of the year that the leaders and our wives are able to get away and
spend intentional time together attending to the mission of East Point Church. Admittedly, it is far too short of a time, and thus we will be working on ways to extend it. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most blessed times of fellowship, prayer, and study we have all year.
The theme for our time this year came from Proverbs 25:11: A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. We were reminded as leaders how important it is that we glorify God and point people to Christ with what we say, how we say it, and when we say it. Our ministry is a ministry of the word. What words are we using to represent this ministry of the gospel? Are our words understood by others as a ministry of the gospel and the Spirit?
The Bible has a great deal to say about our tongues and the way we use our words (see James 3:1-12). Here are just a few verses from Proverbs that should remind us of the important stewardship our words are in the sight of God:
10:19 – When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
10:32 – The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.
12:18 – There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
13:3 – Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
15:4 – A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
15:28 – The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
16:24 – Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
17:28 – Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
21:23 – Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
25:15 – With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.
Our words matter. They matter to those around us. They matter to God. They should also matter to us. This holiday season I expect to eat my favorite dessert, apple pie. Apple pie reminds me that apples are a treat; and so too should our words be to those who hear us. Let us be careful to serve golden apples and not rotten ones. Remember, it doesn’t take but one apple to spoil the whole bushel.