Is Timing Everything? What the Bible says About Timing our Words
When I think about timing I always think about romantic comedies. The creators of romantic comedies know exactly how to perfectly tease out the timing to the couple finally falling in love at the end. But we are on the edge of our seats while we watch with our popcorn knowing that the guy loves the girl but is afraid to say it and the girl loves the guy but thinks he's still in love with his ex because of some big misunderstanding.
We watch and we cheer them on as we wait for the plot to perfectly align so that the problems are all magically resolved just in time for the perfect happy ending to the movie.
Just like in romantic comedies, we know timing matters in our lives. We just don't have the benefit of getting to watch it unfold from the comfort of our couch in our PJs.
What does the Bible have to say about timing and how does it impact us?
Proverbs 15:23 says, "A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word!"
God doesn't just care about the message of our words, He cares about how we time them. If you have ever experienced a conflict with a friend or family member, you know that the timing of something difficult to say is important. This is something I learned as a kid when I would wait for my parents to be in a good mood before asking to sleep over at a friends house. Or, an even better trick was to bring the friend with me when I asked.
When you're growing as a believer, you know it's not just important what you say or how you say it. It's also important when you say it.
If you want to level-up your communication skills in the Spirit, make sure what your saying aligns with scripture, how you're saying it honors God, and when you're saying it is prompted by God.
I recently read an article about giving feedback. As a growth minded individual, I naturally have feedback for literally anything I participate in. I'm constantly asking myself how I can improve so I ask that question of other people too.
This article harshly expressed you should never give feedback unless asked. At first, I was offended by this. I have definitely broken that rule! But the article went on to explain how giving feedback when you aren't asked will often be met with difficult emotions because that person wasn't in a headspace to receive your feedback.
With my coaching clients I always ask before I suggest something, a simple, "can I make a suggestion?" invites my clients to say yes or no depending on how they're feeling at that moment.
Timing isn't everything, but it is very important especially when it comes to our words.
The power of our words are the difference of life and death (Proverbs 18:21) and the timing of our words matters.
Whether you're sharing great news or a difficult truth, the way you time what you need to say can impact the message. To take the pressure off a bit, we have grace for our words and the timing of them through Jesus.
The popular message of the book of Proverbs is growing in wisdom. One way we can practically grow in wisdom in our lives is by considering not just what we're communicating, but also when.
This week try to intentionally pay attention to the "when" part. Seek God's heart for the proper time to communicate with others whether that's taking longer pauses before jumping into a conversation, or prayerfully considering when you should share what you've been thinking about with a friend.