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Refreshing Words

Today's Devotional

Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land. Proverbs 25:25

Standing in the kitchen, my daughter exclaimed, “Mom, there’s a fly in the honey!” I quipped back with the familiar adage, “You will always catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” While this was the first time I’d (accidentally) caught a fly with honey, I found myself quoting this modern proverb because of its wisdom: kind requests are more likely to persuade others than a bitter attitude.

The book of Proverbs gives us a collection of wise proverbs and sayings inspired by God’s Spirit. These inspired sayings help to guide us and teach us important truths about how to live in ways that honor God. Many of the proverbs focus on interpersonal relationships, including the profound effect our words can have on others.

In a section of proverbs attributed to King Solomon, he warned against the harm caused by speaking falsely against a neighbor (Proverbs 25:18). He counseled that a “sly tongue” results in dreary relationships (v. 23). Solomon warned against the chilling effect of constantly using complaining words (v. 24). And the king encouraged readers that blessing comes when our words bring good news (v. 25).

As we seek to apply these truths, we have God’s Spirit who helps us give a “proper answer” (16:1). Empowered by Him, our words can be sweet and refreshing.

When have you seen the profound effect of words? How might the Spirit guide you to use refreshing words?

Heavenly Father, please help me to reflect Your compassion in my interactions by using gracious and kind words.


Psalms and Proverbs, two of the Bible’s Wisdom books (which also includes Job, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs), illustrate the use of the tongue for good or evil. Of his enemies, David writes, “Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. . . . With their tongues they tell lies” (Psalm 5:9), and “They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows” (64:3). The psalmist Asaph says of the wicked, “You use your mouth for evil and harness your tongue to deceit” (50:19). In speaking about the positive use of our words, Solomon states, “The tongue of the righteous is choice silver” (Proverbs 10:20), “the tongue of the wise brings healing” (12:18), and “the tongue has the power of life and death” (18:21). As believers in Jesus, we can choose to speak affirming, life-giving words as the Spirit helps us.

By |2024-01-27T01:33:23-05:00January 27th, 2024|
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