“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
Proverbs 16:24 (KJV)
How are you? I hope you are well. There are many verses in the Bible about the power of words. Yet, do we really think about that power in our every day lives? Words must be powerful, after all, God spoke the world into existence. Words can be powerful in a negative and in a positive way, depending on what we say and how we say it. Yet, in the case of Proverbs 16:24, words can make a powerful and positive difference.
Let’s look at the first part of Proverbs 16:24, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb…”. As important as words are to God and how powerful He knows them to be, there must be a reason that the word “honeycomb” was chosen over the word “honey”. So, I did some research about honey versus honeycomb. It seems that as one may expect, honeycomb and the honey within it is healthier for you than the honey we buy from the store. It is in its natural element and how God made it to be, instead of processed and extracted. Honey has many, many nutrients and is good for us in so many ways, but honeycomb has even more and is even better for us.
When we speak, do we take time to think about whether we are using “pleasant” words or not? Let’s look at the word “pleasant” for a moment. What does pleasant mean? I think we can all agree that hearing a loved one tell us that they love us is pleasant. I think sometimes, other things might get a little cloudy in our mind as to whether or not it is “pleasant” or not.
For example, if you tell someone who has on a hat that you do not like, that they have a “beautiful hat” and you like how it looks on them, is that considered “pleasant words”? Some people may say “yes” because the words seem nice, polite, and even encouraging. Yet, is it really pleasant and encouraging when we are told lies, no matter how nicely they are put? I don’t know about you, but I would rather know the truth. I would like it to be said as nicely as possible, but I would rather hear the truth, so that I know that I can trust that person with other things. (Whether or not a hat is liked or not seems like it is of no real consequence, but if someone lies with little things, will they lie about bigger things?) We can dislike something and still say something nice that is honest and more meaningful like, “That hat isn’t my style, but if you like it, I am glad you are wearing it.” (The latter is not only honest, but it also acknowledges that people have different styles, and encourages people to be themselves.)
Even if we are rebuked for doing something that goes against God’s will for us in a kindly way, it can be pleasant for us in the most “heavenly” use of the word. We want to do our best for God and to serve Him in the way that He calls us to do so. We want to be close to God and to receive the gifts and love He has for us.
To me, it isn’t only the words that are called to be pleasant, but the way we speak the words as well. Words as simple as “yes” and “no”, can be spoken in a nasty tone or demeanor, or a pleasant tone and demeanor. The words still have the same meaning, “yes” means “yes” and “no” means “no”. However, they can help or hurt, in the manner in which they are spoken. For example, in Proverbs 15:1 (KJV), God tells us, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” I think most of us have probably experienced both “soft words” and “grievous words” and can understand the difference.
Now, that we have pondered the meaning of “pleasant words” for a while, let’s look at the second part of Proverbs 16:24 (KJV), “…sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” Can you imagine that every time you speak, you have the power to bring someone sorrow, hardship, depression, anger, sadness, and even ill health or death or you have the power to bring encouragement, truth, love, kindness, happiness, empathy, or even heath and life? That is a huge consideration and responsibility. Yet, God wouldn’t have told us this if it wasn’t important for us to learn.
I know that for me, it makes a difference how and what people speak to me. Encouragement and truth have empowered me and brought me joy, while mean words and lies have hurt and discouraged me. Can you relate?
Many of us have heard, “Don’t say things in anger” or “think before you speak”. The words in Proverbs 16:24 is a good reason for these sayings. The question is, “Will we understand the importance and heed these words?”
Thank you for your heavenly love and direction. Thank you for the message and instructions you gave us through Proverbs 16:24. Help us to understand the power of our words and help us to speak “pleasant words” to each other, so that our words will be “sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” Also, help us to realize that when we heed your words, we glorify you.
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Reflective questions for Proverbs 16:24 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 16:24 mean to me?
*Do I think before I speak?
*Do I speak “softly” and with “pleasant words”?
*Do I understand the power of words?
*How can I better heed God’s words in Proverbs 16:24?
Now, it is your turn.
I am so glad you are here. I pray that God is encouraging you and making the words in the Faith Blog to be "sweet to the soul, and health to the bones" for you. I also pray that these words help you to read and ponder God's Word for yourself.
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I look forward to reading your thoughts, comments, prayer request, prayers, questions, and suggestions. Hopefully, they are said in "pleasant words", but I look forward to them. Feel free to comment below or contact me. Thank you for your support and kindness. I appreciate it.
This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.