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 ••• Words of kindness cannot be underrated. Often though, the more comfortable we are with someone, the less kind our words become. We are busy. They know we don’t really mean it. Or, another excuse for harsh, unkind words—we’re trying to help them be better people with tough love. But tough love isn’t about being mean, it’s about setting boundaries and expectations, then holding firm to them.
The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about the benefits of kind words. Some of those verses include:
- Proverbs 15:1 — A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
- Proverbs 15:4 — A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
- Proverbs 16:24 — Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
The thing about kind words is it all goes back to the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as would have others do unto you” (based on Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31). We equate the Golden Rule with actions, forgetting that the words we speak ARE an action. When we are in the act of speaking, the act of writing, the act of texting… Act is the root word of action. So when it comes to kind words, the Golden Rule of Speaking to Others is, “Speak unto others as would have others speak unto you.”
Our unkind words demoralize and demotivate others. They create resentment and internal hostility. They breakdown relationships. On the other hand, our kind words inspire. They motivate, encourage, uplift, and strengthen relationships. It’s not to say that we should never correct someone or be a doormat, but discipline should never be done in unkindness. And when the foundation of the relationship is built on kind words, discipline or correction is more readily heard and accepted.
Y’all, I don’t know many people for whom unkind and harsh words are a motivator. At least, not a positive one. It might compel your child to finally unload the dishwasher but their obedience won’t be done for the right reasons—at that point, obedience is about self-preservation to keep from being yelled at or having privileges taken away. That’s not conducive to a peaceful home life… after all, we want our kids to obey us because they love us and want to make us happy… not out of fear and self-defense.
And it goes without saying, speaking kindly isn’t just about the way we interact with our kids. It’s how we speak to our spouse, parents, coworkers, friends, cashier at the grocery store, waitperson at the restaurant, teachers, etc. The kindness of our words matters—no matter to whom we are speaking!
Right now, as tempers are short and patience is running thin, and online debates are on the rise, let’s remember the wisdom of Proverbs and embrace the Golden Rule of Speaking to Others… “Speak unto others as would have others speak unto you.”
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for modeling kindness in the way He interacted with others and the way He spoke to them. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your words, that you will speak to others with the kindness you yourself would like to receive.
SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.