Proverbs 16:24 expresses the value of speaking pleasant words: “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones.” There it is; this is a simple truth. It is not difficult to understand, yet it seems as if all around me I hear arguing, hassling, bitterness.
My dad, who did not finish 8th grade, knew the value of speaking the truth in simple love. Whenever I would mention bickering among the girls in our Chain O’ Lakes country school yard he would remind me that if I could not say anything nice not to say anything at all. That is advice still worthwhile.
This week I posted a remark on Facebook that was supportive to the link that had been posted in regard to education. Almost immediately a caustic comment followed in a reply to my comment. It was so sarcastic that it even lost relevancy to the original intent of the post. In the replier’s sarcasm he left a door open for a smart, quick reply. Puzzled, he made one more comment: “That was sarcasm, you do know that?” Of course I did know that but my quick, yet kind reply tossed ice on his fire.
Oh that we might pray regularly the prayer in Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” In this world of selfish, thoughtless words, it is our responsibility as Jesus’ followers to speak pleasantly, yet speak the truth. When we do that, our lives will match. It is really difficult for folks to dispute us when our words and actions are in harmony. We will bring sweetness to the souls and health to the bones of not only ourselves, but also to the lives of those around us.