Ugh! Another e-mail…another thing to look through/respond to/read. I didn’t have time for that…yet the Spirit urged me to open that one…I’m glad I did. In it was a challenge to not grumble (Yup! Pegged!)! It gave some specific ideas for each day during the month of November, which I’d starred to bring back to the surface once November arrived.
November 1 came! We have a board at the end of our hallway, where all of our bedrooms are. I’ve used it for years, writing on it different messages to the fam (i.e., daily or weekly jobs, welcome notes to guests, something the LORD had shown me that I wanted to share…). Over the last few months, my husband has started getting in on it, too, sharing with us words of wisdom…of focus. I figured this board was the best place to post this “grumble-free” challenge, as all of us need this daily reminder!
DAY 1 was worth leaving on the board for a couple weeks, not just one day…and we have!
“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”Proverbs 16:24 NETB
If someone says NOT to do something, is that where your focus goes? That tends to be the norm here, so I love that the initial focus of not grumbling was what TO do in its place–speak pleasant words–words that really please someone, are beautiful, and give a sense of happy satisfaction and joy! If someone speaks words like that to you, do your insides feel a bit “mushier,” feel like they’ve gotten a hug, or just bring a wholeness to what did seem to be in pieces?
Our “soul” (“nephesh” in Hebrew) is the seat of our senses, affections, and emotions; it’s where love, joy, desire, and longing come from. According to this meaning and the verse above, whether it seems true for some individuals or not, everyone feeds on pleasant words…Yes, feed, like what you do when you’re uncomfortable and desiring food! We’re hungry for and desire pleasant words deep down. In the verse above, your soul, your life, enjoys how pleasant words satisfy you and how you experience the sweet flavor of those words! It makes you desire more!
It doesn’t stop there with the pure enjoyment of those words, refreshing the soul! Pleasant words are also healing. The word for “healing” in this verse (“marpe” in Hebrew) means “health, profit” and comes from a Hebrew word (“rapha”) that encompasses not only personal ailments and distresses (both internal and external), but it also expands to include nations and even God. The words we choose and how we say them have power…They have power to heal on the deepest level, from a single person to impacting a nation! God can and will use our beautiful expressions to benefit others on His behalf!
This doesn’t mean we favor pleasant, empty words over truthful ones! We just need to be mindful of how we express truth to others...that we say things in a way that will give life and healing, not take it away.
Focusing on speaking words that please the person we’re talking with, are beautiful, and give a sense of happy satisfaction and joy can be hard! So can saying them in a tone that is heard the way we mean them! I attest to that! However, the hard work DOES pay off in the long run! These pleasant words are the cure for declining relationships and afflicted conversations. I’m seeing changes in my own heart and home. If we’re faithful with the opportunities we’re given, God will do the rest in His time. Amen!