Read Proverbs 16:24
24 Kind words are like honey—
sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. (NLT)
Most of us know of the power of words spoken to us or about us. Words can hurt and words can heal. Words can tear us down or build us up. Maddeningly, the same person can utter words of both discouragement and encouragement to us.
Words which are life-giving are those which cause us to have a spring in our step, a renewed hope, an assurance that we matter. Of course such words may include rebuke. Constructive criticism can be life-enhancing even if uncomfortable. But there are words that penetrate deep within us and cause a part of ourselves to die, daggers which cause deep wounds.
However, let’s consider this verse from another perspective. We who speak kind words will do good to ourselves. Not only others benefit, but we benefit. A person who is preoccupied with negative speech, whose focus is always on what is wrong, will be doing damage to themselves as well as others.
And even then, there is yet another dimension to this text. We speak so often to ourselves. Our spoken and unspoken thoughts about ourselves and to ourselves can have a great effect on us. Self-talk is incredibly powerful, for good or bad.
May the words we receive bless us. May the words we speak bless others. May the words we speak to ourselves bring blessing to ourselves.