“Kind words are like honey; sweet to the body and healthy for the soul.” Proverbs 16:24
When I was a child, I often remember quietly reciting, “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Usually, it was after I had received a tongue beating from one of numerous kids that would tease and bully me throughout my adolescent years and on through high school. Even in college, I remember chanting it while closing my eyes really hard…as if both together would make the words magically stop and vanish the imprint that had been made on my heart – band-aid the slice mark it had just made across my mind. But, no matter how many times I said that little riddle, no matter how hard I clenched my eyes closed, the words of the riddle were never as loud or as effective as the words that were used to crush me emotionally.
The enemy has studied us since the moment of our conception. Since his job is to steal, kill, and destroy – this explains why he often finds cheap ammunition through the mouths of unaware sleepers. These seemingly unable to explain enemies that pop up all throughout our lives to recite all of the very same lines of torment. They are unaware of what they have done before they can reach the pause in their sentence, or put the period on the last sentence in their stone-throwing-monologue. Unknown to them, are the very plans the enemy has for their words – to spiritually assassinate anything good in our lives, anytime he will be able to get us to remember those words.
Yes, words are very powerful indeed. We understand this to be simple when we are on the receiving end. But 40 years later, I’m not that little kid anymore. I can remember the words; I can recall the emotional impact; I can see the imprint it has left on my personality. Although, I don’t think I’ve heard some of these same accusations since I was a teenager, they still hurt just as real and intense. The enemy brings them back to my memory at just the right times in my life – like the wax to seal an envelope – like the hit that scores the winning point – he provides the words as evidence to drive home the points he tries to infiltrate my mind with…
But then, I recall THE WORD. Every lie is bombarded with the healing ointment of SCRIPTURE. Satan screams, “sinner;” CHRIST screams, “saved.” Satan screams, “unworthy;” CHRIST screams, “price already paid.” Satan screams, “worthless;” Christ screams, “priceless.” You see, louder than the words that were used to try and break my spirit and rob me of the future Christ has for me – echoes HIS VOICE – HIS WORDS – HIS TRUTH. THESE WORDS override anything else I hear, if I choose to listen. THESE WORDS that usher in life, healing, restoration. THEY cheerlead me through the valley; THEY issue promises; THEY utter hope and the guarantee of a good future.
I do believe that if I were honest with myself, I would have to say that in terms of quantity, I can recall more words sent to destroy my life then to build it up. The enemy’s supply has never been short of people he can use to provide him the tongue to destroy the life of the Believer – total stranger, most trusted confidants, your family…so; I can remember these words endlessly – if I tried to.
But in terms of quality – in terms of real impact – it is the rare times in my life where GOD brought someone to me to speak HIS WORDS…THESE are the times more easily reminisced. THESE are the echoes in my cave. THEY are changing present circumstances, even though they were spoken in the past.
Proverbs 16:24 says, “kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” This SCRIPTURE describes the kind of words that literally transform the flavor of a person’s soul. Wow! Just think about how powerful an ingredient – able to take something bitter and make it sweet enough that a human being is better able to endure life because the words you have spoken have made it more palatable. Pretty powerful. Pretty scary in my opinion. I really wanna know that I’m speaking the right ones – don’t you? What are kind words?
GOD’S WORD. GOD’S WORD spoken at the right time, in the right season – nothing added; nothing taken away…
When our mouths become GOD’S cooking vessel in another person’s life, by allowing HIS WORDS only to fall off our tongues into the pots of life – then, HE IS ABLE to transform the most bitter of circumstances. GOD’S WORD IS sweeter than sugar, which actually dissolves on the tongue. IT IS sticky, long-lasting, and able to get all over everything – just like honey. You know what I mean – go put your hand in a jar of honey and see if it doesn’t wind up getting all over everything. Soon, everything you touch will tattle where your hands have been. Soon enough, you’ll find your walls, counters, books, everything – sticky with the residue.
GOD’S WORD spoken in HIS season is honey to a person’s inner soul…it sticks to the ribcage and to the heart. Years later, that person will find themselves getting heated up in this kitchen we call “life,” and the HOLY SPIRIT will reach back into their pantry. HE’LL pull out a jar of the sweetest things that were whispered during the darkest of seasons. HE will use HIS spoon of grace and begin to lavish that person with the thickness and reality of a honey so sweet, that they too, will soon have forgotten the bitter because of the sweet. Their souls will find nourishment; their bodies will find health; it will stick to everything – leaving nothing untransformed. And when the season of that life has changed, it will leave behind a residue that will eternally tattle THE STORY of A HONEY so sweet, that IT saved their bitter lives!
The tongue, though small, is still a mighty weapon indeed;
it can be quick to destroy or aid someone in need.
It can brighten up the most hopeless of any situation;
it can lead a soul down a dark path of temptation.
It can build up a person and encourage a heart;
it can rip someone in half and emotionally tear them apart.
The secret lies in understanding the ways,
we can use words to give life and add length to our days.
See, unlike wild animals that roam to and fro –
unable to express what they feel, what they know,
GOD’S given us the ability to speak –
ask questions and find the answers we seek.
We are able to seek HIS presence in prayer –
call out to others and know that they’re there.
HE’S given us the ability to speak death and to speak life –
add balm to wound or cut it more like a knife.
Yes, words are a very powerful tool,
and once they start coming, they unwind like a spool.
They come undone, unraveled, wasted so fast;
most people blow through them even faster than cash –
without even considering the effect that they had…
did they make someone’s day or just make them feel sad?
Did we use them like sugar to make someone’s day sweet?
Will we use them to encourage everyone that we meet?
Or are our words more like salt – just adding more sting
to everyone’s wounds – only worsening things,
instead of speaking a blessing we curse,
instead of THE WORD – it’s the culture we rehearse?
Words are like honey; they sweeten the heart;
they heal broken wounds, even before the wounds start.
They suture up souls that are dying and scared;
they bring hope to the hopeless and show that God still cares.
Yes, our words can be a mighty weapon indeed
or we can use them to help and build a real ministry,
everywhere that we go, everyone that we see –
we can use our words to build up and bring GOD the glory!