27th August 2014

Small Talk

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
Proverbs 25:11 (NKJV) 

The room buzzed with conversation, I entered with a degree of apprehension.  People were milling around holding a glass and a small plate of canapés.  The occasion was a friend’s birthday; a happy occasion, but I do not ‘do’ small talk very well.  How does one make polite conversation with a stranger whilst holding a glass and juggling a plate with possibly a mouth full of food?  Perhaps I am anti-social, but oh how many times have I put my proverbial foot in it, trying to be affable.  My latest faux pas was when I asked someone how their dog was.  I seemed to remember vaguely that they had a dog.  To my horror her eyes filled with tears and she informed me with difficulty that the dog had died!  The remainder of the exchange was filled with my condolence and apology.

I need to re-think the phrase ‘small talk’ –surely to converse in a courteous exchange when greeting a relative stranger should not be problematic?   Using tact and cordiality, small talk is a way of opening the door to creating friendships.  Finding the balance of conversation that edifies and encourages people is a gift worth pursuing.

God’s word beautifully describes words/conversation ‘fitly spoken.’ In Proverbs 25:11 we learn that ‘a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.’  Equally there is a warning against ‘empty’ words in Matthew 12:36 (NIV), “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”  The word ‘empty’ used in this verse translates from the Greek word ‘kenos’, the short definition of which means empty, vain, hollow.  A stern admonition we Christians must heed.

If we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to guide our hearts and minds, focusing on Jesus Christ our Saviour, then we will join King David in saying  in Psalm 35:28, “And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness And of Your praise all the day long.”

Following King David’s example our ‘small talk’ will then become great by glorifying the Creator who gave us the gift of speech.

Lord, how we need wisdom, perception and sensitivity when speaking and listening to other.  Only you, loving Father, can give us these qualities.  Our hearts desire is to proclaim your righteousness in our conversations and conduct, that you may be glorified.

Irene Wilson


irenewilsonAbout the Author:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Watford, Herts.
WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson Phone:  01923-855570
Email: george-sue.henderson@tesco.net