Sweeter Than Honey: A Devotional

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
- Proverbs 16:24

Proverbs 16:1–2, 21–24
His topic was racial tension. Yet the speaker remained calm and collected. Standing on stage before a large audience, he spoke boldly—but with grace, humility, kindness, and even humor. Soon the tense audience visibly relaxed, laughing along with the speaker about the dilemma they all faced: how to resolve their hot issue, but cool down their feelings and words. Yes, how to tackle a sour topic with sweet grace.

King Solomon advised this same approach for all of us: “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24). In this way, “The hearts of the wise make . . . their lips promote instruction” (v. 23).

Why would a powerful king like Solomon devote time to addressing how we speak? Because words can destroy. During Solomon’s time, kings relied on messengers for information about their nations, and calm and reliable messengers were highly valued. They used prudent words and reasoned tongues, not overreacting or speaking harshly, no matter the issue.

We all can benefit by gracing our opinions and thoughts with godly and prudent sweetness. In Solomon’s words, “To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue” (v. 1).

By: Patricia Raybon from ODB

I really really love this devotion because first of all it is one of my favorite bible verse and it is something I want to keep in mind on a daily basis. I used to be that person that spits out harsh words whenever mad. At first I thought it was fine because I was just expressing how I really felt. But then, as I mature, I realized that there are a million ways of addressing anger. You can choose to use kinder words or if not, just not harsh words. Saying harsh words will not fix the problem, it will only fuel the fire more and you both end up very very mad. That is why I want to put this verse on mind as I go through life everyday. We meet a lot of people everyday, even just on social media. And of course, they all have their own mentalities, beliefs, preferences, levels of sensitivity, and their own ways. So it is very helpful that you address your opinions in a nicer and calmer way. It helps a lot most especially when the topic is kind of debatable.

I agree. Everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about. So be kind. Always. Always choose kindness. Every day. We can choose to be kind with our words and actions and probably give more smiles more often even to strangers. Just like you, I am one hot-headed human. I easily get mad. I even used to yell at people. But as I get older and wiser maybe, I realized, I don’t need to react on everything. My patience has improved. Sometimes, having peace of mind is more important than winning an argument. Always choose your battles. As an adult now, one of the things I have learned is that we can’t always control how we feel, our emotions over matter, but we can always control how we react and choose the words as we speak. Because one word can change everything. One word can kill someone’s heart. One word can heal someone’s pain. Its all about kindness and compassion.

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Very true! Kindness is free but very very valuable. We don’t know that showing even a simple act of kindness to a person would literally change their whole day or life!

We always have a choice when we speak and God has given us the incredible freedom to choose our words. Sometimes we have words that are never released, and words that should never have been released. So it is up to us on how we handle or tame our tongue…We usually utter bad words if we are angry, but let us remember this bible verse: “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips” -Psalm 141:3

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Yes @MakkaPakka! God gave us the free will to say anything we want, it is up to us if we speak in terms of God’s word. I have been trying my very best to think before I speak because I know sometimes I cannot control myself when certain emotions rise.

Be kind always is such a powerful word. When we are angry or hurting, harsh words are easy to say. Unintentionally or not, we may hurt someone’s feelings. We have no idea how long something we say can stay in someone’s mind. Maybe for a couple of hours, days, weeks or a lifetime. Isn’t it sad that people nowadays doesn’t seem to care for other’s feelings anymore? Sometimes, a simple misunderstood or conflict that can be fixed thru proper communication or simply by sitting down and talk to each other. But this generation especially the younger ones, they seem to forget the true meaning of communication and the power of speaking words. Others even throw bad words against each other on social media. What happened to the basic manners and right conduct we learned in school?

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True @Jean! We all have different levels of sensitivity. Personally, when someone says harsh words to me most especially if it’s someone close to me, it stays on my mind for years :frowning: it may be challenging to change our ways of expressing our emotions but what matters is we are trying.

Thank you for this reflection, @kianna! This is so true. Words are really powerful. It can either build or destroy people. In Proverbs 12:18, it says that “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” In order to be in total control of our tongue, we need to surrender our hearts to God. For the things that comes out of a person’s mouth is a reflection of their own heart. (Matthew 15:18)

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@kianna: True dear! But sometimes due to anger I cannot control my mouth most especially if things are repeatedly done. But I really strive to do my best that instead of uttering unpleasant words, I need to shut up my mouth and count 1-10 mentally, inhale and exhale and be calm…Most of the time, I walk out…but it doesn’t really work all the time. So I ask God to help me when it comes to my temper. :blush:

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@Jean: Agree! It seems like social media is their way to vent out their feelings and anger to someone without knowing its impact as long as it was posted. Sometimes we need to think before we post…I admit I really do that before, I posted my rant coz I really do hate people posting “patama quotes” related to the way I handle our finances as a family…and I never regret anything of doing it, coz I am really tired of defending and explaining myself…So the good thing is, she blocked me and I live a semi happier life now Haha!

@kbadum yes that is very true, I have seen myself how such hurtful words can affect a person as they live their lives and to how they see themselves

@MakkaPakka yes that happens and it is very normal, but nothing is impossible with God. what would seem very hard to do will be possible with God. you are doing very well @MakkaPakka the key is to never stop trying :blush: