Proverbs 15:23 (ESV)
To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,
and a word in season, how good it is!
A modern parable has been written about the tools of the enemy that I believe we can really learn from.
"Some time ago, an advertisement appeared in which the devil was putting all his tools up for sale. On the day of public inspection, each one of his tools was marked with its selling price: Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Doubt, Lying, Pride, and so on, were each on the block. Set apart, however, from all the rest of the pile, was a harmless-looking tool, well-worn, but priced very high -- it was discouragement!"
Someone asked the devil, 'why is that one priced so high?' He replied, 'Ah, that one is more useful to me than all the rest. With it I can pry open a man's heart and enter, when I cannot get near him with any other tools. Once inside, I can lead him any way I choose. The tool is very worn because I use it on almost everyone, since few people know it belongs to me.'"
The enemy loves to sow discouragement -- but believers have a tool much more powerful -- encouragement! We can speak a word into the lives of those who desperately need to hear it: to the college student adjusting to his new environment; to the missionary who may feel alone in the harvest field; to the disillusioned newlywed young couple; to the forgotten servants of God who labor in an obscure and difficult ministry; to the orphans and the widows; to all those who need to hear a word in due season!
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