“You catch more flies with honey than with lemon!” So, who wants more flies, you ask. The ‘intent’ of this short proverb is good, if not a little off kilter. Look at this one, with which I’m sure you’re familiar:
Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” (KJV) or Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.” (The Message)
I have several Barberry Bushes in my front yard. The only spectacular thing about these bushes is their thorns; long, sharp, pointy, mean thorns. I do NOT like the bushes, but since I live in an apartment, it’s not ‘mine’ to chop them down. However, I can do then next best thing.
The grounds keeper was trimming all the bushes this morning including holly, Nandina, barberry and others. I went out and offered him some ice water, but he said he had drinks in the truck. So, I asked him if he would severely trim the barberry. He responded, “Severely”? And I replied yes, that it has those awful thorns that ‘bite’ me all the time.
He noticed that my patio is welcoming with potted plants and ‘yard pretties’, so he readily agreed, I think, because I asked him nicely. It didn’t cost me anything to be kind to this person and the offer of ice water was sincere.
While searching through www.BibleGateway.com and before I located the above verse in the 15th chapter of Proverbs, I selected several colorful verses in the 18th chapter as translated by The Message:
“2 Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse;
all they do is run off at the mouth.
4 Many words rush along like rivers in flood,
but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs.
6 The words of a fool start fights;
do him a favor and gag him.
7 Fools are undone by their big mouths;
their souls are crushed by their words.
20 Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach;
good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.
21 Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
23 The poor speak in soft supplications;
the rich bark out answers.”
Aren’t these verses full of awesome wisdom? The entire 18th chapter of Proverbs is full of wisdom, but I plucked only the verses that were germane to “good words”.
I am working on making my words sweet like honey and pray you will join me. See Romans 10:17 for guidance, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Simply put, what you hear or listen to is what gets into your heart.
Both Matthew 12:34 and Luke 6:45 tell us what is in our hearts is what comes out of our mouths. (Matthew) “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” And (Luke) “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
Are these things, anger, bitterness and ugliness, coming out or your mouth or do the rivers of sweet water flow with your words? Choose carefully what you ‘put in your ears’. If you “talk trash” your heart will be loaded with trash. Garbage in – garbage out! Let us speak good and kind and loving and that will flood your heart!
All scriptures are taken from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.
©2014 Cat Brennan