A Word Fitly Spoken
Brother Bill Beasley
My return to the United States at the end of World War II was a trip that will be long remembered –for its unpleasant moments as well as for its joys.
After completing five weeks at rehabilitation some 4500 of us were placed in the Navy ship – The USS Admiral H.T. Mayo for the trip across the Atlantic to Boston, Mass. For me it was four days of sea sickness that was followed by an encounter that I would like to forget.
I don’t think of myself as a grumbler by nature, but after standing in line for some six hours waiting to get part of my pay I was not a happy camper. My attitude was not one of kindness, nor did I choose my words carefully. When I arrived at the tellers cage I was venting my feelings, it provoked her to say “didn’t you know that there is a war going on?” You can imagine how they sounded to a combat veteran who had been shot down, who had four of his crew members killed, and who himself was just out of a prisoner of war camp.
After the encounter while I was rethinking what had been said three verses of scripture came to mind. (Proverbs 25:11; Proverbs15:1; James 1:19).
Why did I not remember these earlier? I don’t know but I haven’t forgotten them since. That was 69 years ago, but I remember them well today.
From them I offer these thoughts:
1. Be good listeners. “swift to hear”
2. Choose our words carefully. “words that apply”
3. Speak with caution. “fitly spoken”
“A soft answer will turn away wrath”. Proverbs 15:1