Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
A well-placed encouraging word or comment can accomplish much. The writer of Proverbs uses the picture of a honeycomb which he says is “sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
In those moments when we are called upon to give comfort — sweet and healing words often fail us. Sometimes the plight of family and friends is so severe that there are no adequate words of comfort. Even ministers and grief counselors encounter situations for which there are no words.
Like I’ve said before, in such times, just being there is enough. Your presence means you care. If the hurting person wants your counsel, they’ll ask for it.
A week ago, I talked about becoming a People Builder. In our troubled world, we need Christians who will devote themselves to lifting people up, rather than tearing them down.
Not only do words have the power to encourage, they can heal. “I’m sorry,” and “Please, forgive me,” are healing words. Relationships can be healed with gracious words spoken sweetly.
Let’s revisit our focus verse. “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” As you read those words, what kind of mood or tone of delivery do you hear? Gruff and demanding or gentle and caring?
That’s a no-brainer, right? So for us to be used by God as encouragers or comforters, we must posture ourselves in the right frame of mind. Grumps need not apply. (Just kidding.) Actually, Christians should be the happiest people on earth.
Consider how Paul ended his letter to the Philippians. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
That, my friend, is the sweet spirit that should be the norm for all Christians. Rejoice. Your gentleness evident to all. Paul even tells us why. “The Lord is near.”
Borrowing my friend, Kurt Kilpatrick’s saying, “Some people act like they were weaned on a pickle.”
Do you know this person? At family gatherings when he arrives it’s like a dark cloud descended upon the room. You wonder why he even bothered to come. Oh, and did I mention, he’s an officer in his church?
That person is not likely to speak healing words. Even if he tried, a lot of good it would do. Healing words are spoken from a cheerful heart and a sweet spirit.
By the way, I always call those people out. Christian or not. When somebody is gruff with me, I cheerfully ask them if they’re having a bad day. They respond in one of two ways. Either they’ll instantly become cheerful, or they’ll share the reason for their cross disposition. The latter opens the door for ministry.
Even that grumpy family member will eventually come around when you get them talking. People like that usually love to talk about themselves. Refuse to allow your sweet spirit to be brought down by the irritable spirit. Grumps need sunshine, too.
Now let’s talk about you. How would your spouse, or children, or your coworkers, or your closest friends describe your disposition? When you enter the room, do you bring sunshine, a dark cloud, or heaven forbid — a raging storm?
God deserves the best that you and I have to offer. We are His witnesses, His representatives. Today, will you be ready to be used to speak words of encouragement and healing?
For more on this topic, check out this article: What Is Unwholesome Talk and Why Should We Avoid It
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.