“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16.24
WORDS – we all use them everyday. Some use them well and some use them crudely and are offensive to many around them. As followers of Christ, we want to be certain that we build bridges to reach those who are unsaved rather than putting up a wall that shuts them out.
Isn’t it interesting that Solomon conveys two concepts and one result in this verse? Words should be (1) pleasant and (2) sweet. The result is health to the bones. Pleasant words may or may not come easily to all of us, but in order for us to speak pleasant words, we need to think about them before we speak. I have heard people say about someone who has just said something that was “not pleasant”, “That’s just the way he/she is.” I assume they mean we are to just take it” from them. As believers we represent the kingdom of God and need to speak in a manner that reinforces that.
When you think about a honeycomb, if you hold it up, the honey just oozes out. You don’t have to force it. That is a pretty good picture to describe our words.
Then we are told that words are “sweet to the soul …” The soul and spirit are the part of me that makes heart decisions – whether good or bad. When someone speaks to me with “sweet” words, they positively affect my soul. That is a good thing. I want to be able to do the same for those who are listening to me.
Finally, Solomon says that pleasant words are “health to the bones.” “How so,” you ask. I believe when people are treated with respect, they feel better about themselves and consequently there is less stress on their body. I had a teacher in high school who said frequently, “You can draw more flies with honey that you can with vinegar.” If it is my goal to reach out to a lost world, I want to come across to them as “honey” and not “vinegar.” Think about it. Just my thoughts …