TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. (Proverbs 16:24 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Hi, my name is Denise, and I love words. I think it’s absolutely fascinating that people used 26 letters and from that teeny tiny pool of resources, mixed them up and put together 171,476 words that make up our Oxford English Dictionary. It blows my mind! And that is not inclusive of the 47,156 obsolete words… or the 500-1000 new words that are added each year!
With only 26 letters, we’ve invented thousands of words with which to communicate and my question today is this: How many words do you use to speak with kindness?
Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” I love this Proverb. Though I doubt the ancient Hebrews had Southern accents, that’s the kind of voice I hear when I read it… (Unlike the movies when all the Hebrews have British accents, but that’s another topic.)
It’s also a verse that reminds me of one of my favorite Southern sayings—“You’ll draw more flies with honey than with vinegar.” But that saying goes better with Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Anyway—the year 2020 will prove to be a year in which many words will be said, many opinions flung far and wide, and many bleeding tongues from those who bite them in self-restraint. Actually, that last one is wishful thinking because we’ve got Facebook… the virtual world in which freedom of speech means hiding behind a computer and saying mean things that most of us would never say face-to-face with a stranger, much less our family and friends.
But I say better a bleeding tongue than damaging words that can destroy a relationship. James was right when he called the tongue “a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8).
All this to say—not every opinion HAS to be shared. I know that it will be shocking for some to hear as many feel that giving their opinions is their great calling in life. But, alas, I put a pin in that balloon…
Let us make this year our year to speak with kindness. That doesn’t mean avoiding difficult conversations, but it means speaking with a heart of kindness in all we say. We aren’t so far removed from New Years that we can’t resolve ourselves to speak gracious words to others… and by doing so, we show others the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives which is inclusive of kindness (Galatians 5:22-23).
Today, as you pray, thank God for the wisdom of Proverbs, for kind words, and for kindness itself. Ask the Holy Spirit to temper your tongue and restrain the words that aren’t laced with kindness.
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