The Sweetest Words
Scripture: Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24 (NKJV)
Observation: This chapter of Proverbs includes much instruction applicable to human relations. Today’s passage provides helpful advice in any setting - at work, in school, at church, with neighbors, friends, and family.
Application: It is a well-known fact that in family relations kind, gracious, pleasant words are always better than harsh, critical, mean words. No one likes to hear demeaning, angry, or accusatory words, particularly if they come from those we love. Faultfinding, antagonistic speech can make both the speaker and the hearer sick with anger and resentment. On the other hand, appropriately spoken words (cf. Prov. 15:23) that encourage, soothe, or commend can be most pleasant and even uplifting to the point of helping a person feel better physically
Ellen White wisely wrote, “Do you dislike to have harsh words spoken to you? Remember that when you speak such words others feel the sting. Let your praiseworthy example, your peaceable words and unselfish deeds, be a savor of life unto life. (The Voice in Speech and Song, p.64)
In a world full of competition for the first place, of anger and rudeness, of pride and arrogance, the sweet, kind, pleasant words spoken and heard at home can be refreshing and even therapeutic. White continues: “The talent of speech was given to be used for the benefit of all. Pleasant, cheery words cost no more than unpleasant, moody words. Sharp words wound and bruise the soul. In this life everyone has difficulties with which to wrestle. Everyone meets with grievances and disappointments. Shall we not bring sunshine instead of gloom into the lives of those with whom we come in contact? Shall we not speak words that will help and bless? They will be just as much a blessing to us as to those to whom they are spoken.--Ms 93, 1901. (Ibid).
One way to ensure we use pleasant, kind words toward our loved ones is to make an on-going list of the things you like and appreciate in them. Every time they say or do something you like, write it down. Periodically review this list and tell them how you feel about what they said or did. For instance, after your wife fixes you a good meal, tell her how much you liked and appreciated it, write it down on the list, and then one day, instead of expressing frustration or annoyance for what she might have done or fail to do, remind yourself that she fixed you that wonderful mean and tell her again how much you appreciated it and that you think she’s a great cook. Or if your husband hung a picture you asked him to do, tell him thank you for doing that and that you like how it looks on the wall. Every so often you can also tell him that every time you look at that picture you think of him and how good he is with his hands, or how nice of him it was to put it up for you.
Those kind, gentle, sweet, affirming words will make the other feel warm and loved. They are indeed healing to the body, mind, and heart.
A Prayer You May Say: Father, help me to maintain a positive attitude and to express words that are pleasant, kind, and gracious so that what I say may be sweet like honey to my family and those around me.
Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.