Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Words of Encouragement

The heart of the wise instructs his mouth And adds persuasiveness to his lips. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. - Proverbs 16:23-25

Is there healing for the soul? Healing in your words. As I thought about what to write this week, the word “healing” came to my mind. When we think about healing many pictures come to mind. We may think of someone that is sick in his or her body and is in need of physical healing or restoring. We may think of someone that has been hurt emotionally and needs to be made whole or released from the bondage of those emotional hurts. Whatever we think of in regards to healing, there are some vital keys we can play in the healing of others, as well as in our own healing.

In this chapter of Proverbs the instruction is for a king to be godly in his duties and to honor that place of authority, which he has been given. It can be applied to us in this manner; there are some areas in your life where you are the authority. Maybe you are the manager or boss on your job and this scripture is calling for you to be fair in the things you do. Maybe you are in a place of authority within your church or other areas and you have power that can affect the lives of others. God’s call is for us to use godly wisdom and justice when we interact with those around us.

In these particular verses it contrast the wise person against the foolish one. The wise person from God’s standard has control over their mouth. Things do not just “come out”. The heart has given the mouth instruction on what to say. In other words, those things spoken have been thought about before they are said. And when the wise person speaks their words have power behind them that is what makes them persuasive. Those words spoken are also sweet words. Do not misunderstand this point; they are not false, flowery words, but words of truth that are sweet to the soul. They may even be words that sometimes are not so easy to take, but because they are spoken with wisdom and are the truth of God, they are words that are sweet (that is because the word of God is like honeycomb, sweet to the taste). The wise speaks words that bring healing to the lives of people. They penetrate to the very soul of a person and bring light to those dark areas. This is not because of the person speaking them, but because they are words of God flavored (salt of the earth) by his Spirit.

On the other hand, the foolish one speaks quickly without thinking and the words spoken are from their own understanding, perspective and ideology. The foolish may even think that the words they spoke were profound and enlightening, yet in the end they are foolish words that only lead to death. The charge for us today is to examine our words. Are they wise words that bring healing to the hearts of individuals or are they foolish words that cut, hurt, damage and destroy?

I pray for us today, Lord help us to speak words of wisdom. Not our own wisdom, because things may seem wise in our own eyes, but they are foolishness. Help us speak the words you give and may they bring healing to the seeking heart.