Pleasant words – words that encourage and lift up, words that minister life and grace and love and mercy. Heard many of those lately? Spoken many of those lately? Sometimes, I have to admit, I am careless in my speech. I speak from habit and convention. People ask, “How are you? and I say “fine” whether I am or not. And no one seems to really care. And I think what difference does it make?
The woman at the counter at Walgreen’s knows me better than that though. I can’t dismiss her concern; it is genuine. I find myself being honest with her and she is honest with me. We are both in pain more hours of the days and nights than we care to count anymore. How refreshing that honesty is and it opens the door for pleasant words to flow back and forth.
Because we can be honest with each other, I can encourage her and she can encourage me. It is a pleasant exchange, but Proverbs would lead me to believe it is much more than just that. It is actually sweet to my soul and healing to my bones. And hers.
It is good for us to have those people in our lives who speak pleasant words and it is good for us to be those people in other’s lives. Who, but God, knows what kind of healing we could bring to others just from saying pleasant words? What about you? When you aren’t “fine”, do you have someone you can receive encouraging words from, someone who is open and honest with you? Can you be that kind of person to someone God puts in your path today?
Lord, forgive me for the times I have been careless in my speech. Or worse, forgive me for the times I have been indifferent. Help me to minister to others with pleasant words. Help me to speak to myself with pleasant words. Help me when I am harried, or anxious or in pain to remember that one word can make a difference if it is spoken in love and it is pleasant. Amen.