Proverbs 16:24 (NLT) says, “Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
I have been the recipient of so many kind words lately: encouraging texts; moments of prayer; sweet words from friends, time in scripture reading God’s Words. And it is true that these kind words are sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. I would even say they are life-giving.
In a world where we are constantly bombarded with tearing one another down – whether for their beliefs, lifestyles, politics or just because we can – kind words are a commodity to which we must hold on tightly, and offer freely.
You see, I think there are two sides to this verse.
There is the obvious side, the one we read into the verse immediately, the one about us. The side that says kind words spoken to me are sweet to my soul and healthy for my body. In our individualistic society this is often how we read and hear sayings of this nature. We relate them to how they make us feel good. We want to receive kind words. We want to feel good.
But the other side of this verse, that I think is at least equally important, if not more so says kind words spoken to others are sweet to their soul and bring health to their bodies.
When Solomon spoke these proverbs, he was imparting wisdom that the Lord had given to him. As a King, his words had power, but I think he understood that power was about so much more than controlling and ruling people, but that his words had the power to bring hope and healing into the lives of others.
Our words have power, too. We can use them to build up or tear down. We can use them to encourage or discourage. We can use them in ways that make others lives sweet like honey, or in ways that leave a bitter taste behind. We can use them to heal or to wound.
And I think it is high time we start adding more honey.