The Value of Having a Family

ID-10089296We live in a world that is comprised of a sea of humanity – individuals that are all seeking to accomplish their own goals.  As time has continued onward, we have seen the increase in individuality and even forms of ambition for one’s own life.  In today’s social climate, it seems that there isn’t as much of a focus on others but more so the focus has become placed upon oneself.  However, there are moments that we should be reminded that our lives are an extension of the families that we were born into.

What does the term “family” mean?  According to Dictionary.com, the family is defined as the following:

  1. basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not:
  2. social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for:

A family is a collective group of individuals that exist with the purpose of providing social structure and even identity as it relates to a person’s birth and culture.  The essence of family is the framework which allows each individual to play a role in either the development or nourishment of another.  Families consist of fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, cousins, etc.  The foundation of every society which God put into put into place was that of the family.  It was and is upon the family structure that we are meant to have civilization from its starting point.  Of course, as each individual grows up, there may be the goal to seek companionship and ultimately to have children which further extends one’s lineage.

However, what is the value of family?  Why is family such an integral part of a person’s identity and development?  Here are a few thoughts on the value of having a family:

1. Family provides a sense of togetherness – Out of every external relationship one of the most important and coveted relationships is that of one family member to another.  To know that you have a family that you can go home to, or call on the phone is a gift.  Togetherness can be used to describe the act of joining to and with one another as life is lived.  There are many deviants that exist within society that commit various crimes which often, stems back to troubled family matters.  It is the family that institutes structure to each person because it is the basis for incorporating core values and even the way of living which is conducive to society.  Without togetherness, then the basic elements of society begin to crumble which leads to chaos and a devolution of the way of life.

2. Identity is derived from your family – When a child is born, the identity is shaped from not only the Mother and Father but also the extended family.  It is the process of grafting one’s life into a nucleus of family members which cultivates a person’s identity.  Part of the reason as to why there are so many individuals that do not know who they are, is because they do not or did not have a connection with the family that they were born into.  Each part of the family is an essential influence into who and what a person becomes.  It is ultimately the breeding ground for core values, family history, and even genetic predispositions that run within the family.  It is a person’s framework which is often decided based on family history or even influence by a Mother and a Father. Much of the questions that we have concerning ourselves, can be traced back to our family. To know your family and its history, is to know your heritage and the lineage you come from.

3. At the end of the day family is all you have – If you have any kind of relationship with those in your family, they will always be the last thing that you will have.  A family that is anchored in the idea of unity and lending a helping hand, is a family that will always treasure those within it.  Outside of personal relationships, your family is what will survive as long as generations continue.  During the moments of personal tragedy, financial hardship, and even the need for consultation, the essence of family is to serve as an antiseptic to the wounds of life. When everyone else has left you, it is your family that should be the place of connection.  By building and maintaining a healthy relationship with your family members, you will then have access to love and the warmth that comes with value of family.

The most important value to having a family is that of remaining open to those within your family.  This means, actively pursuing your familial relationships by spending time and also celebrating special achievements.  However, in doing so, you must incorporate your presence within your family tree.  A family can exist by its nomenclature, but the essence of a family goes beyond the definition.  It is to spread the sense of unity through time, communication, and being the agent of healing when life is not kind to you.  The value of having family is recognizing that you are not alone in this journey.  Friends may come and go, but your family is the structure that holds within it the keys to who you are, and who the next generations will be.

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Who We Are – Ways That We Show Our True Identity

Every single day, you wake up in the morning to arise to a brand new day.  Within each day, there are various responsibilities and endeavors that take place.  However, as you step through the door of your home, you enter into a world that is comprised of a sea of humanity.  Each person that you may or may not meet, has experienced a different way of living than perhaps yourself.

There may be similarities that you may have with others, but our experiences and our way of living is what makes us unique.  Within the life of each person that exists, are characteristics, dispositions, and interests.  It is possible and even preferable to find commonality among those you come into contact with.  However, as you meet each person and time has provided an opportunity for learning, you will find that there are ways that we all emit who we truly are.

1. What we communicate – There is a Bible verse that is found in Luke 6:45 which says:

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” 

The key part of that verse is the latter part of it which points to the heart of a man.  All of us have interests, thoughts, dreams, and goals that we want to accomplish.  When you and I communicate, we are essentially speaking out of what we are full of as the scripture mentions.  If you want to discover what is most dear to a person, then you will have to listen to what they say.  The more a person talks, the easier it is to find out what the individual’s interests are.  The identity of a person can be found when we unearth not only the interests, but also the desires that come from the words of others.  It is in the process of getting to know someone, that you are engaged in active communication.  Merely observing habits without relationship or conversation does not reveal who a person is. However, when you are seeking revelation into who a person is, the best option is to have a conversation. Words, regardless of how positive or negative they are, will shed light into the identity of the person and what their heart consists of.

2. How we spend our time – This could be closely aligned with what you do, but the keyword here is, “time”.  What is it that you spend most of your time doing?  What is the activity that describes your interest or passion?  Where we spend our time and what we do, is another way that others can see just what identifies who we are.  Of course, we should not mistake what we do for who we are, but what we do is often a part of who we are even if it isn’t the sum total. Daily, you can tell what a person likes or dislikes but focusing on where and how time is spent.  If you know of a person who is a regular volunteer in their community, then it is safe to say that the individual values volunteerism and giving their time.  Even outside of civic participation, your daily or weekly leisurely activities can pinpoint what is important to you.  Your identity in part is tied to what you engage in, and how you spend your time.

3. The passion that we have – Have you ever talked to a friend or a colleague about a particular subject that invoked passion?  Usually our inner being burns for whatever we are passionate about.  If someone is passionate about politics, sports, or the culinary arts, then it will show in their zeal and what they communicate.  Every person has at least one thing that they are passionate about.  It is the topic or the very thought of your heart’s desire that brings forth the passion that infects everything around it.  Your identity and even your purpose can be revealed through your passions.  We tell others about who we are by the passion that we speak with, and the actions that translate the fervor into reality.

Are you finding yourself in a state of curiosity about someone you have recently met?  The best way to get to know a person is listen to what they say.  Communication will always show forth a person’s true intent and who they are.  Secondly, look at how they spend their time.  Finally, examine what their deepest passions are.  All of us have our own interests and our identities are unique compared to the rest of humanity.  However, the more we allow others to come into contact with us, the more we are likely to show who we are.  It is the act of expressing ourselves that those around us find out what our true identity is.

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Forgiveness – Releasing Others to Release Yourself

In life there is a time in which you will seek forgiveness whether on behalf of yourself or to forgive someone else.  Forgiveness is a word that comes with a level of unease because to forgive is to exonerate or drop all charges of a person’s guilt.  It is the remission of an act that was deemed to be criminal or within violation of your personal feelings.

In today’s society, it is has become common place to seek revenge, rather than to extend a hand of forgiveness.  The world today has continuously transformed into an arena that is full of those who remain in coldness, apathy, and a disposition that is unforgiving. It is a well taught doctrine which suggests that it is easier to harbor anger and resentment, rather than forgiving those who have an alt against you.  However, the missing nugget of truth is that to remain in an unforgiving state, is to commit damage unto yourself and others.

Rather than choosing not to forgive, you and I should portray a life that is consistent with the principle of “love thy neighbor as thyself.”  If we love ourselves, then we will treat others as we would want to be treated.  This means, that if we want to be forgiven for the wrongs we commit, then we should forgive others.  There are at least two benefits to forgiving others and even forgiving yourself:

1. Forgiving others releases them to be free – When you walk in forgiveness you no longer bind others to the harm or crime that they have committed.  Freedom comes when we are allowed to escape and shed the past that should be left behind us.  If you have chosen not to forgive someone, then you have essentially held them to what was, rather than letting go to move on with your life.  Also, you are putting into practice the principle as stated above.  You are extending grace and forgiveness to someone, despite their actions.  It is a powerful message for anyone to say that they have forgiven someone even when an act can be seen as unforgivable.  As difficult as it is, to know that you have forgiven someone speaks to your willingness to make peace with the person and with the past.  In the event that you reach forgiveness, you may even salvage or maintain a relationship with the guilty.

2. Forgiveness releases yourself to be free – Not to forgive, can lead to bitterness which is destructive at its core.   When a person thrives in bitterness, it becomes unpleasant to exist in their presence.  A person that is bitter has a tendency to lash out in anger and resentment which leaves little room for positivity and grace unto others.  However, when you have had the courage to forgive others, then you are free from the chains that you were bound by.  Forgiveness isn’t just for those who have trespassed against you, but it is also for you to find freedom.  Being free means that you are able to leave every negative act against you, in your past.  It then brings peace to your mind, body and soul rather than travailing in stress and anguish. Sometimes, you may need to forgive yourself for things that you have done.  The most important thing to remember is, that you are precious.  There isn’t anything that you have done that should cause you to remain in solitary confinement.  Not to forgive yourself over a matter, leaves you in bondage to what you have done.  We have all made mistakes and committed acts that we might consider to be unforgivable.  However, forgiving yourself takes courage and it will take an intentional effort to release yourself from what you have done.

When you are standing at the crossroads of a matter that involves forgiveness, ask yourself the following question:

“If I made a mistake that caused pain to someone else, would I want to be forgiven?” Most if not all of the time, the answer to that question will be yes.  This goes back to the principle of loving your neighbor as yourself.  Seeking to extend forgiveness to the one who caused you pain or an inconvenience, is the same as acting in a manner that you would want to be treated.  This shows love for yourself and for others, and it shows that despite the unfortunate circumstance, you made the difficult decision to drop the charge against the guilty.  Since you yourself were once guilty, it is beneficial to forgive someone else.  When you do, the cycle of freedom can continue through you which then moves throughout the lives of others.

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Changing Lanes in the Roadways of Life

ID-100254813Most of us have driven, or we have assumed the role of a passenger in a vehicle.  While driving, there are plenty of signs, other motorists, and even pedestrians to pay attention to. However, one aspect of driving which is usually a constant is that of changing lanes.  Just as stopping or turning left and right are common maneuvers, changing lanes is also apart of the driving experience.  To change lanes is to forcibly move your vehicle from one lane to the next.  There may be a myriad of reasons for changing lanes.

You may want to change lanes because of a driver that is traveling at a slower speed than you are.  Or, you might see an object in the roadway up ahead – so you change lanes to avoid a collision.  You might also change lanes because you recognize that you are approaching your exit or turn.  Changing lanes is a decision that is premeditated with the notion that you are expecting or in need of a change in your pattern of driving.

Just as changing lanes in your driving experience is necessary, there are many moments in our lives when we must “change lanes”.  Life within itself is not always a constant experience, but it is fluid and ever changing.  We may have our daily routines, but at some point the monotony of daily living can and will change without warning.  How do you navigate throughout the changes in life?  What is it that constitutes a “changing of lanes” in your everyday journey?  There are a few parallels that can be drawn from the concept of changing lanes while driving:

1. Changing lanes signifies a change in your route – When driving, we often change lanes in anticipation of an upcoming turn. A driver might change lanes well before their turn, or they may wait until the last minute.  However, every driver must have the awareness of when their next turn will be.  Even in our daily lives, we must anticipate looming changes (both positive and negative) and adjust accordingly.  This means, we must pay attention to the path that our life is taking.  Sometimes we can become complacent in our thinking and how our life is structured, that we fail to see opportunities for change and growth.  For example, you may be in a situation in which your job and its stability is being challenged.  This would then call for you to anticipate a change that may be quickly approaching. By applying for other positions and seeing ahead of where you are, you can change your position in order to make a turn in a safe manner.  The route that we are currently traveling is not necessarily the same route we will be on for years to come.  Life changes, and with life we must also change our position.

2. You must change lanes to avoid road obstructions – Sometimes, a driver will need to avoid objects or even poor road conditions in order to avoid damage to their vehicle. Discarded debris which can contain nails and other foreign objects can be hazardous to your tires or vehicle if you don’t change your position.  Potholes and other types of road damage should also be avoided to maintain a vehicle that will last throughout time. In your life, you will also experience moments in which you will need to avoid obstacles within your path.  It may be a toxic relationship, a bad job situation, or even coming to a place of decision as it relates to avoiding a poor or bad choice.  In every pursuit of life, there will be obstacles which present themselves.  However, once you see the obstacle which is designed to impede your progress, you must change your position to maintain a clear and safe passage.

3. When changing lanes it must be done safely – Every driver that wants to change to another lane, should always check their mirrors before doing so.  The purpose of a mirror check is to ensure that there isn’t a vehicle in your blind spot.  Otherwise, changing lanes too quickly could result in a rear collision which would be costly with the possibility of it being painful.  There also comes a time in your life, when you must make a calculated decision of when to make a change.  Changing your position in life may not always be practical, because it may call for you to wait until your path is clear.  Moving to the next stage of your life, should be done safely and in a timely manner.  Otherwise, you and those closest to you could suffer from a decision that was made in haste. It will call for you to examine the decision at hand, and decide if the timing is right or if you need to travel in the same path a bit longer.  You must then come to a point in which you maneuver to the next place but at a safe and moderate speed.

4. Signify to those closest to you that you are making a change – One of the most important and even overlooked elements of changing lanes is the use of the turning signal.  There are drivers that merely change lanes, without notifying others behind them of their intention.  To use a turning signal is to alert other drivers of your movement so that they are not caught by surprise.  Even in your own life, there are those that should be clued in on changes that may be occurring.  This is not to say that you must tell every single person of your dreams, your decisions or of any impending changes.  However, it can be beneficial to have someone who you are accountable to for the purposes of solidarity. What we often face can be tackled with the assistance of someone else.  Otherwise, you could find yourself facing a predicament or decision alone without wise counsel.

The overall aspect of change whether while driving or in any part of your life is, it is inevitable.  Just as a driver that has shown him/herself to be ready for change, we must be ready and open to change.  By understanding that our lives are ever transforming we can shift from lane to lane as we continue with our journey.  Each driver understands that there is a destination in mind.  Rather than becoming complacent on a particular path, every discerning driver understands that at some point there is a turn and an ultimate ending.  Our lives will also encompass turn after turn, and eventually an end.  However, before every turn there must be a calculated decision and a safe transition to the next stage of life.

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Relationships – What Plants Can Teach Us

ID-100172390Plant life is a phenomenon that is a gift from God, and it has been the ever present ornament that has been on display for centuries.  It is the life of a plant that not only enhances the visible aspect of our world, but it is the nutrition and medical benefits that plants contribute to our lives. For example, plants provide various levels of oxygen which is essential for the air that we breathe.  They also improve our environment by addressing all of the necessities for a healthy and vibrant ecosystem.  Plants have so many benefits to not only the survival of humanity but also to animal life. However, as plant life can prove to be an entity that brings a positive contribution to its surroundings, there are parallels that we can draw that apply to relationships.

Since most of us are involved in one type of relationship or another, we should take note of what the building blocks are for our relationships, and what qualities or lessons we can learn from plant life.  Here are a few things that plants can teach us regarding relationships:

1. Just like plants, relationships require time for growth – Before a plant fully develops, it has to undergo a period of stages.  Each stage represents a moment or length of time in which growth or maturity takes place.  As a plant blossoms into its ultimate state, it does so throughout the proper time allotted.  Relationships also require time and development.  Sometimes, relationships can suffer from a lack of patience.  Take for instance a man and a woman, who have found interest in each other and they have met for the first time. What if they decided to start a romantic relationship a week after meeting?  Chances are, the relationship will quickly fizzle out because time was not given in order for it to grow at a healthy pace.  All relationships take time to develop.  Without the appropriate amount of time, each relationship will wither and ultimately die from a lack of maturity.  Plants just as relationships require appropriate timing and a willingness to wait for the next stage.  Rushing into a relationship and through it, only leads to heartache in the end, because each individual did not have enough time to acclimate themselves to each other.  Take the time to see each relationship through until it fully matures.

2. Relationships grow because of care and conditioning – Plants need sunlight, water, and the appropriate environment to flourish.  The process of photosynthesis is involved when plants use sunlight, oxygen, and water to create nourishment for growth.  However, without all of the nutrients and the right environment, a plant cannot exist or grow properly.  Relationships also require nourishment and care.  Every relationship needs attention so that those involved understand just how it is that they fit within the life of another.  It also involves communication so that words convey the message and the mutual feeling from one person to another.  All relationships need to be conditioned so that each person involved not only senses the closeness but they also feel as if they are wanted.  Time also counts towards the area of proper care and conditioning.  However, the overall idea is to understand that how we interact with each other matters to the level of growth our relationships experience.  Little or no interaction, leads to stagnation and ultimately a dissolving of what we are engaged in.

3. Firmly planted roots increases the flow of nutrients to all relationships – Besides sunlight, water, and oxygen, a plant needs to be entrenched in soil that is rich with minerals. So, when you plant a seed in the ground it must be in fertile soil which in turn will provide an environment for the plant flourish as it grows.  In addition, a plant must have its roots firmly planted in the ground so that it can receive nutrients throughout its life span.  Even our relationships must be firmly rooted and planted.  The very foundation of any relationship is one of friendship and trust.  If you have a friendship, then it means that you are willing to stand with your friend even when life is not kind to that person.  You are dedicated to the person despite any obstacles the two (or more) of you may face.  Trust is also necessary, because it suggests that you can rely on the person and entrust them with your inner feelings while they trust you with theirs.  With both of these two aspects as the foundation, you will continue to see maturity in your relationship. However, without the foundation of friendship and trust then the relationship could suffer from an uprooting process.  This means, there is a possibility of discord, distrust, and a lack of patience which can sever the relationship from its root. Essentially, if a plant is taken from its original roots then it can no longer receive nutrients from the soil, which means that life can and will ultimately end.

Each of our relationships have a life span just as a plant does.  However, the quality of each relationship is determined upon how well we take care of them, and what we feed them.  If we choose to neglect our relationships then it is likely that they will start the process of withering and eventually they will die.  However, to avoid this we must look at our relationships to see if we are properly caring for them.  We must also examine our foundations so that our relationships are rooted in friendship and in trust.  Plants are living beings which are not always treasured as much as they could be.  However, the plant as an organism is full of the life that God has granted it.  Just as God has granted each plant a life, we too have life.  In our lives, relationships exist.  Our ecosystem is comprised of people that we may befriend and come in contact with everyday.  However, for our ecosystem to be beneficial, it will take dedication, the proper time to create our relationships, and the appropriate foundation.  Look at your relationships and see how well they have matured.  What you do, and how well you address each relationship will show in the level of growth you see on a daily basis.

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In the Boxing Ring of Your Life – Winning the Battle Against Yourself

ID-10084729Boxing has long been a sport in which, viewers find their entertainment from the physicality and even the brutality that is displayed between two opponents.  The sport of boxing can be traced as far back to the B.C. era, which at that time boxing was held as an Olympic event.  Throughout each century, boxing has changed as it relates to its rules, fighting techniques, and its influence within world culture.  However, one aspect of the sport has remained consistent, and that is the objective of the contest.

In a boxing match, two individuals actively pursue the task of knocking their opponent down, with the purpose to be the last person standing.  Modern day rules, specify that an individual that does not stand to his/her feet before the “10 count”, will be disqualified while the person standing is declared the winner.  Rules also state, that points are tallied throughout each round based on the severity and accuracy of each punch that is delivered to the opponent.  The more knockdowns, accurate punches, and variation of blows that are inflicted, the higher the overall score will be.  If both fighters make it to the final round, a panel of judges tally their points.  It is at this point, that the winner is chosen by unanimous decision, or by the fighter that has the most points in their favor. The essential goal of those fighting is to win their match with decisiveness and endurance.

Our lives can be seen within the same mindset of a boxer, and that is, we are in a daily fight.  However, we are not just involved in any fight – the fight that many of us are involved in is with ourselves.  Have you ever felt as though, you were capable of accomplishing a goal and yet that goal is never realized because of your own inhibitions? Much of the obstacles we face are not necessarily external, but they are internal.  The words, “self destruction” and “shooting yourself in the foot” can and often apply to the struggles and difficulties that we face.  It is quite possible to be your own worst enemy by succumbing and surrendering to the opponent which is yourself.

However, we must recognize that there are principles we can take from the sport of boxing that will assist us in winning the match against ourselves.  Here are a few considerations:

1. You must know your opponent – In a boxing match, it is beneficial to know the individual that you are facing.  Before each match, a professional boxer may want to watch available film of their opponent from previous fights, so that they understand their opponent’s ability and fighting stance.  By watching and examining, you will have a better idea of how to approach your opponent.  The same can be true as it relates to yourself.  We must know who we are, by conducting self examination.  This means understanding what makes you tick, or discovering when you feel the most vulnerable.  It is when you know yourself, that you can approach various situations with prudence and wisdom.  Failing to know yourself, will result giving your opponent (in this case yourself) the advantage in adverse situations.  This also calls for you to know your weaknesses.  Each person that is in a contest, should recognize their opponent’s weakness.  They can then exploit it, so that the result is more so in their favor for victory.  Knowing your own weaknesses can assist you in avoiding constant mistakes, or even buckling under the pressures of life.

2. Fight with patience – Every fighter that achieves some sort of success, understands the ability to be patient when they are face to face with their opponent.  Patience simply means, that you are pacing yourself so that you don’t lose the energy it takes to fight effectively.  We must do the same thing when it comes to winning the battle against ourselves.  Sometimes when we face who we are,   it will mean understanding that we are all a work in progress.  For example, you may suffer from low self esteem.  It may take a considerable amount of time for you to tunnel through your past or present experiences – which means that you must be patient with yourself in the process.  Defeating your opponent will not occur as quickly as we would like.  Every fight that a boxer finds him/herself in, will require a steady stream of attack and endurance throughout the match.

3. Victory is the end goal – To fight in a boxing match is to embrace the idea that you will be victorious.  Every boxer enters the ring with the intent to win.  Whether or not they win, is dependent upon their focus, their drive, and where they compare with their opponent.  However, even with all of the factors, winning is the motivation for entering into a public bout.  When we are fighting with ourselves, we should assume that we will gain victory in the end.  Sometimes, we can find ourselves giving into the notion that we do not stack up to our opponent (ourselves) meaning we have become intimidated by what we see, rather than knowing that victory is possible.  However, you must visualize your end goal which means to see the prize and fight towards your dream or vision.

At the end of the day, we are all fighting against ourselves.  Becoming one’s own stumbling block to progress, is more common than we may think.  Much of the impediment that we see in our lives can be attributed to the influence and blockade that we institute on our own behalf.  For someone, it may be the fear of failure which means that dreams or goals that have been set forth may not be readily accomplished.  For another, it may be the issue of procrastination in fulfilling a promise that was once declared.  Regardless of what the issue may be, we must understand that we are all facing an opponent – that opponent is ourselves.  If we fail to accomplish goals that are within reason and our capability, then we have no one else to attribute the loss to.  However, be courageous in your fight and remember that victory is not only probable, but if you endure until the end it can and will be a reality.

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Using Discretion and Knowing When to Reveal Information

In the Bible, the book of Proverbs is known as the book of wisdom.  This book was written by King Solomon, who was known as the wisest man who ever lived.  Throughout the book, there are a myriad of scriptures and words that encourage the reader to not only use wisdom, but how to embrace it.  Part of the process as it relates to wisdom is knowing what to say, and when to say it.  It is also knowing what not to say, and when not to say it. There are many who often struggle with their words, because the words that we say, can be damaging to ourselves and to others.  It is coming to the realization that we all need the wisdom that God provides in order to avoid blunders that could be harmful to ourselves and to others.  There are at least two scriptures we can extract from the book of Proverbs that can help us when it comes to using discretion with our words, and when to speak.

The first scripture can be found in Proverbs 17:28: 

“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” 

This scripture means, that even an individual who is considered to be a fool or foolish, is wise if they remain silent. Essentially, those that are wise are those that understand the meaning and benefit of silence.  The word silence here, is used to denote the lack of words or useless chatter.  Have you ever known an individual who constantly spoke, without understanding the impact of their words?  It is quite possible to speak without restraint which can result in misinformation – or it may cause the privacy of a matter to be revealed when perhaps it is best not to divulge.  To be silent or to maintain the absence of words can prove to be wise because often times, it is our silence that is a better alternative than speaking with an abundance of meaningless words.  The second part of the scripture refers to discernment as it relates to the restraint that comes with maintaining silence.  To discern is to understand or to have the knowledge of. If we “hold our tongue” as this scripture says, then we have understood that it is wise to be silent and the reasons as to why.  Proverbs 15:2 says, “The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” The principle is essentially the same here, and that is that a person who is wise, speaks with knowledge as opposed to a person who is unwise, who speaks foolishly.

The second scripture can be found in Proverbs 15:23:

“A person finds joy in giving an apt reply– and how good is a timely word!”  

There is much joy and benefit to a word or words that are spoken at the right time.  Just as the above scripture makes reference to embracing wisdom as it relates to silence, there are also benefits to speaking at the right time.  The scripture found in Proverbs 15:23, basically means that there is much joy that comes when we give a reply that is within the appropriate timing.  There is nothing worse than to divulge information before its time. Doing so can be damaging to others, which can lead to mistrust, loss of privacy, and a destruction of the information that was meant to be held in confidence. Another scripture which supports the benefits of speaking in the correct timing can be found in Proverbs 25:11.  It says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” 

A word that is “fitly” spoken is one that is revealed in its proper timing and within the appropriate context.  This scripture uses the imagery of gold and silver which are words to describe the pleasantness that comes when words are spoken at the right time.  We must reveal our words at the proper time, so that we add value to every scenario rather than causing harm.  It is the foolish individual that does not use wisdom when speaking, because foolish words and ill timed conversations can lead to folly.

All of us have witnessed instances in which circumstances have deteriorated as words were foolishly spoken.  It is also certain that we ourselves have participated in unwise gestures or speaking openly at the wrong time.  The key however, is coming to the knowledge that our words have power.  What we say is just as important as when we say it.  There is both value and a detriment that can come from either speaking out of turn, or speaking with timeliness.  It is a choice and a concerted effort that we must all make, in order to avoid using our words unwisely.  The goal for all of us should be to contribute in wisdom – and having discernment to avoid the calamities that can come from speaking without warrant. To be wise, is to speak not only with a purpose, but to refrain from speaking when that time is appropriate.  It is the ultimate test that we all encounter, but if you maintain a wise and discerning lifestyle, then you can avoid the errors that come with every day communication.

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