Proverbs 15:23

A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

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Answering well is a precious ability, especially at the right time! Knowing how to answer others is a valuable skill of wise men. The wisdom to help with the right words at the right time makes a person profitable to others (Pr 12:14; 16:13; 23:16; 24:26; 25:12).

Solomon said a good answer is as beautiful as gold apples in a silver bowl (Pr 25:11). But the ability to give the right answer at the right time takes much understanding and wisdom, so he dedicated many of his proverbs to this skill for your success and profit.

The Lord Jesus taught that giving is more blessed than receiving (Acts 20:35). One of the best and easiest ways to give and support others is with a kind or wise word when they need it. There is righteous joy in helping someone with good counsel. But such ability only comes by careful preparation and knowledge before the opportunity presents itself.

Jesus Christ had this ability. “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary” (Is 50:4). It is a duty and privilege to have this wise tongue, so you also can help others. You can learn how to answer every man and have pleasure doing it (Col 4:6; Gal 6:1-5; I Pet 3:15).

How? Listen very attentively and speak cautiously (Prov 18:13; 29:20; James 1:19).

How? Reduce your words to only valuable ones (Prov 10:19; 17:27-28; Eccl 5:3).

How? Spend time examining your speech by prayer (Psalms 19:12-14; 139:23-24).

How? Keep your heart and thoughts pure and wise (Prov 4:23; 22:11; Luke 6:45).

How? Always be gracious in your speech (Prov 11:16; 22:11; Eccl 10:12; Col 4:6).

How? Make the glory of God an object of your speech (Col 3:17; I Cor 10:31).

How? Study to make sure all your answers are correct (Prov 15:2,28; 16:23).

How? Make sure the words fit the occasion (Prov 10:32; 25:20; I Cor 13:5).

How? Choose words that build others up (Prov 12:18; Eph 4:29; I Cor 10:24).

How? Use gentle words when a person is angry (Prov 15:1; 25:15; Judges 8:1-3).

How? Give certain words of truth rather than opinions (Prov 22:17-22; I Pet 3:15).

How? Learn wisdom to solve dilemmas for others (Prov 10:21; 16:21; 27:9).

How? Be encouraging and uplifting to others (Prov 12:25; 16:24; I Sam 23:16).

How? Use pleasant rather than harsh words (Prov 16:24; Col 4:6; Luke 4:22).

How? Do not debate or dispute with fools (Prov 23:9; 26:4-5; II Tim 2:23).

How? Avoid complaining or negative speech (Prov 17:20; Phil 2:14; Col 3:17).

How? Reject pride and contention in speech (Prov 13:10; 18:6; I Cor 6:7).

How? Let negative words only season speech (Prov 26:5; Jas 3:9-12; Col 4:6).

How? Avoid hurtful words behind a person’s back (Prov 11:13; 20:19; 25:9,23).

How? Work thanksgiving into every conversation (Eph 5:4,20; I Thess 5:18).

If you want a happy life and good life, then learn how to rule your speech and use it for the profit of others (Ps 34:12-16; I Pet 3:10-12). Both men and women can rise in reputation by gracious words that build up others (Pr 11:16; 22:11; 31:26; Ec 10:12; Eph 4:29). This skill and wisdom will make your life productive for both God and men.

The true purpose of the church is the mutual help members give one another while waiting for the return of Jesus Christ (Heb 3:12-13; 10:23-25). But this great goal will only be realized where members learn to answer well at the right time. If godly speech is learned by all, a church can grow up to the full measure of Jesus Christ (Eph 4:13-16).