Gracious words can bring healing

Do you know there are words that are like medicine to our souls? Listen to what King Solomon said, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Prov. 16: 24). Here, gracious words are described as honeycomb because they are sweet to our souls. King Saul’s son Jonathan, when he was weary from the battle, ate some honey and his eyes became brightened, meaning the renewal of strength was gained (1 Samuel 14:27).

Proverbs also uses the image of honey as wisdom, “Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 24:13-14). Here, we are told wisdom that is sweet to the soul is profitable for our future. Notice that without wisdom hope will be cut off. When we speak life-giving wisdom, we are igniting the souls of others to have great hope for the future. What we say can have a long-term impact on someone.

When people speak life-giving words, your heart will find strength to keep on fighting against the challenges of life. There are words that will keep you going no matter how tough the situation and helpless you may feel. Many times, all we need is for someone to say, “You have what it takes. You can do it.” Other times we need to hear, “I believe in you. I always knew you could do it.” Encouragements will uplift and enable our souls to attempt to do greater things.

Life testimony: Do you know that right words at the right time can make you come alive? I have a friend name David who spoke words that made me feel like I could conquer the world. I started out in ministry when I was attending a Bible college, but David was completing his PhD in law at Georgetown University. We served at the same Church; he led the college ministry while I was doing children ministry.

Everyone was blown away whenever David spoke, and I always felt dumb because he would use English words I didn’t understand. He was such an intellectual and gifted speaker and teacher. Every time I preached, however, he would always tell me how God spoke to him through my message. I was so amazed at how humbly he carried himself.

One occasion, David was invited to speak at UPenn college students’ retreat, but he asked me if I would share the speaking responsibility with him. He would preach two times and wanted me to preach two times. He simply said, “I want to expose you to other ministry and other people.” He believed and thought that I was ready to do more than what I believed I could do myself.

On another occasion, David took me to the Urbana conference in 1993, where for the first time I really came to hear God’s call to missions. After Urbana, we made a commitment to spread the gospel to the nations. In 1994, he organized a mission trip to Mexico, but in the middle of the trip he had to return to the States because of work and said to me, “You are the leader now for this mission trip.” I couldn’t believe how much confidence he had in me. The confidence David had in me made me think that I could do anything. I haven’t stopped going to mission trips ever since. I remember I wanted to dress like him, act like him, and serve like him. He was one of the groom’s men in my wedding, and he even came to visit me in Thailand.

A few months ago, he asked me to join him in December for the Business As Missions Conference. He also shared with me what his non-profit organization is doing and how they are making an impact for the world. We all need a friend who believes in us more than we believe in ourselves. A friend who can speak life giving words to strengthen our souls.

Mother Teresa once said, “Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness.” Godly words can revive, heal, and change the course of our lives. In contrast, ungodly words have the power to bind, imprison, and destroy our souls.

Someone said, “Creative words create. Destructive words destroy. Hurtful words crush. Helpful words build up. Toxic words poison. Gracious words heal. Faith-filled words bring life. Faithless words bring death.” What kind of words do you speak? Speak life giving words.

P. Tae

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