A Good Word in Due Season
How do we know what the good word is and how do we know when the time is right for us to share the good word? In today’s sermon, we take at what we need to know about sharing a good word with others.
When a good word is said at the right time, it can do a lot for somebody. I imagine that many of us have heard a good word just when we needed to hear it. That good word probably lifted you up out of a dark and gloomy place. I imagine that when you heard that good word, at the right time, you were given strength that you did not know you had! A good word can do so much for somebody!
The onus is also on us to pay that good word forward. What I mean by this is that it is our duty to do the same thing for somebody else. When we see somebody is in need of a good word, we should be ready to share a good word with them. Today, I want to focus on sharing a good word in due season.
A word out of season
When we hear, “good word,” we all think of a word that is encouraging – it is always good. However, there are times when a good word does no good. I want to point out that Solomon says, “a word spoken in due season.” Let’s pay very close attention to Solomon saying, “due season”.
Have you ever been in a frame of mind where you just didn’t want to hear anything from anybody? For whatever reason, you were just not in the mood for what they had to say to you whether it was good or bad. When you’re in that frame of mind, you want them to go away so you wave them away or maybe you’re the roll your eyes type. Admittedly, I know I can get to a point where I just don’t want to be bothered so, what somebody was saying simply did not matter. Whether good or bad, what they had to say would simply fall on death ears.
This has happened in times when I’ve been angry. (You know, you can get so angry at something that your focus can get caught up in the anger instead of a calming voice – you just want to be mad.) This has also happened in times when I’ve been in grief. (You can be so sad sometimes that you just want to be left alone and not hear the voice of somebody else. Other times it has happened when I was simply just tired.
From the outside, this would seem like exactly the right time for a good friend or family member to share a good word. (I believe all of us would agree to this.) So, in these times, we often rush in to share a word only to be waved away. We find this to be hurtful to us, the one simply trying to help, but we must take things into consideration. We must consider the individual and whether or not it is the right time (due season) for them to hear our good word. You see, a good word spoken in due season is certainly good, but what good is a good word spoken when it is not due season for the person you are trying to help?
Falling on death ears
I touched on the closed-mind quite a bit last Sunday, but I was looking at it from the standpoint of stubbornness. There are other times when the mind can also be closed off outside of stubbornness. We close our minds off when we are angry, frustrated, grieved, saddened, depressed, or tired. As I expressed last Sunday, it is up to the person to decide to open up their own mind. We may certainly try to help somebody open their mind but we cannot force somebody to open up; a lot of times that does not work.
We don’t often take others into consideration when it comes to giving a good word. There are many times when we badly want to help, but truthfully, there are also many times where we become selfish in the means of helping others. (Meaning: we think of ourselves before we think of the person we are trying to help.) A good word that is spoken at the wrong time falls on death ears.
The good word can sometimes ring hollow for the mind that is shutdown (or closed) so we must understand this first. So, we must learn how to be patient and wait for due season; wait until they show us that the season is now right. The objective is to share a good word in due season, not just share a word for the sake of being able to say you shared a good word with somebody.
What’s the good word?
When we do share a good word, how do we know the word that was spoken was indeed a good word? Yes, somebody may wave you away because the season is not right, but it’s also possible that you are being waved away because your spoken word wasn’t the right word or the good word. If we are being honest, the word that some folks share, they could just keep to themselves. (I say this not to poke fun any anybody.)
Where the good word comes from
When we share a spoken word, how often do we first seek the Lord’s guidance? You see, Solomon had many thoughts on sharing a good word with others. Earlier in this chapter of Proverbs, Solomon says (v.2), “the tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly.” As you have heard me say before, there are two different ways of thought (wisdom/logic) in this life that we live. You can live by worldly knowledge (wisdom) or live by spiritual knowledge (wisdom). So, which tongue does the wise speak with, according to Solomon?
To be clear, Solomon says the wise and faithful in the next chapter (Prov. 16:1), “the preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.” Solomon is very clear and direct in what he says here. All of us have our own plans and many of us like to keep our plans close to the chest. However, when it’s time for us to act (do something or say something), it is the Lord who provides us with the words to say.
Let’s be even more clear about this for the genuine believer. Jesus said (Luke 12:11-12): “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
I tell you today that the good word does not come from our own thoughts, knowledge, or wisdom. As genuine believers, we should often consult with the Lord when it comes to sharing a word with anybody. When you’re trying to help somebody, don’t simply say that the Lord has laid something on your heart! Genuinely consult with Him so that you can speak a good word in due season.
Foolishly speaking a word without consulting the Lord
There are some people who talk for the love of their own voice. (They are wise in their own eyes and so they will take every opportunity to share their own wisdom without ever consulting the Lord.) In an earlier proverb (Prov. 12:15), Solomon described those who are always right in their own eyes as a fool. Solomon said, “the way of a fool is right in his own eyes.” We have to be on guard for the “good word” that comes from foolish people!
“The mouth of fools pours forth foolishness,” said Solomon (Prov. 15:2). “The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, but the heart of the fool does not do so,” said Solomon (Prov. 15:7). Let’s also recall that Solomon said (Prov. 16:25), “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (destruction).”
So many times we choose to listen to the good word of a fool, and every time we listen, we end up in a world of trouble! (Meaning: their good word did absolutely nothing for us!) If you’re in due season for a good word, I advise you not to listen to the words of a fool! Consult with the Lord so that you do not fall for the words of a fool but so that you also be open to receiving His word!
The good word delivered
My uncle often talks about how he used to think he would literally hear the voice of God when he started in the ministry. He’s not alone because I am right there with him! When I was little, I used to ask my dad all the time could he hear what God was saying. However, as I grew up, I learned that the Lord communicates in several different ways that only an open mind will be able to perceive. Many times, the Lord will send you somebody to deliver to you a good word. At the very same time, the Lord will often send you to somebody to deliver a good word to them.
“A spoken word in due season, how good it is!” The good word will always come from the Lord! The Lord’s word is a word that is both helpful and encouraging. God’s word does not cause suffering, hurt, pain, division, or wrath. When His word is spoken in due season it leaves both the person that needed His word with joy but also the deliverer of the word with joy. “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth,” said Solomon.
Understand, this joy does not come from a place of selfishness. No, this joy comes from the Spirit! Being able to lift somebody in need up is what all genuine believers live to do – we are supposed to be helpers! The onus is on us to pay sharing a good word with somebody forward. I am absolutely certain that somebody shared a good word with you at some point in your life because you would not be here today if that was not the case. So, let us start paying this forward – be sure you share the good word with somebody who is need, but be sure you are doing it in due season.