I was reading Proverbs 16 this morning, Lord. Verses 23-24 talk about pleasant words, kind words, being honeycomb in my mouth.
I remember visiting my Granny when I was a young child. Occasionally she would poke a spoon into a mason jar filled with honey. She'd drizzle just a little of the sticky sweetness on a slice of store-bought bread for a treat. Then, she'd plunge a fork into the jar and break off a piece of the honeycomb and give it to me. Now that is a treat that will satisfy the biggest sweet tooth around, Lord. I would suck and slurp on that honeycomb until every drop of sweetness was gone. Then, I'd chew the hunk of wax until it was so hard it made my little jaws hurt.
I enjoyed that occasional treat. I didn't know that honey was good for me, I just knew it was delicious floating around in my mouth.
Lord, are the words I'm speaking to other people doing the same thing? Am I speaking delicious words that are pleasant and positive? Am I speaking kind words that build other people up? Even when I discipline my little grandsons, am I using positive words to counteract their negative behaviors? Am I speaking softly so I don't crush their spirits with harsh, loud, and accusing words? Does the tone of my voice injure them, or comfort them? That's what discipline is supposed to do, isn't it? Comfort children with the safety and security of limits?
When I deal with a sales clerk, or a store manager, or a repair-person am I making my complaint known with a respectful attitude wrapped around pleasant words? Or am I using the power of my tongue to humiliate, aggravate, or manipulate another person?
I still like honey, Lord. But I've learned to take it in small doses. A little of the golden sweetness goes a long way for me now. Have I learned the same thing about my words? Have I learned that a few well-chosen words go a long way? Or do I rattle on dominating conversations-and people-with my tongue?
Lord, help me to control my mouth. To bridle my tongue. To listen twice as much as I speak.
The power of your tongue is life and death, Little One. You can speak life, goodness, and wisdom into other people's lives. Or, you can pronounce death, negativity, and doom on their lives. You actually shape the next generation with your tongue. Did you realize that?
Leave a trail of honey behind you, Little One. Everyone you contact will be blessed by its sweetness.