When you hear the words, you are refreshed. Invigorated. They stir your soul like a pat on the back or a gentle hand helping you up. It is a cup of hot soup on a cold winter’s day. The heat goes down to your core and warms your very being. We all yearn to hear pleasant words. They are the words that confirm your choices and justify your actions.
Think of that dog with nothing but unconditional love in his heart. Pleasant words and that tail will show it. But if you speak out in anger, that poor beast will shrink away from you, put its tail between its legs, and lower its head.
We want to hear the kind words. They are powerful and have more effectiveness than any venom a person can spew. And as bad as we all want to hear it, we can be the ones speaking them.
Imagine they that struggle. Why beat them down when you can lift them back up? Or the bitter. You could return their bitterness, but what good would that do? Return their words with sweetness and just maybe the harshness of their words will dissipate. Regardless of the outcome, you will be blameless if you return their hatred with love.
To hold your tongue when you are being attacked with words takes great discipline. To not return anger with anger takes humility. And out of love and charity, we can freely give kind words, words that cost us nothing, to those who desperately need it. It might be the difference in their lives. It might bring them the health they need to keep going.
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. –Proverbs 16:24
You don’t have to do the following. The choice is yours. But if you choose to walk this path, the reward will be waiting for you.
Justice and Kindness…
Interesting that these two are paired together. Some view justice as the cold servant of the law, while kindness is associated with warm-heartedness toward others. But if you google the definition for justice, the first entry you will see is “just behavior or treatment.” Continue reading and you will see the word “righteous.” Using this definition, there is nothing cold about justice. Justice is simple. It is doing the right thing.
Now when paired with kindness, it makes sense. This verse is about how we treat others. We should treat everybody right. We should treat everybody with kindness. Everybody. Not just friends and family and those you respect and esteem, but even your enemies, the ones you find annoying, and the complete strangers you run into should be treated with justice and kindness. It may not always be easy. But with empathy, compassion, and a true desire for the happiness of others, it is possible to achieve.
Will find Life and Honor.
Think about the just and the kind people you know. Most people go out of their way to do right by them. They are always received with a smile. Why are they so well-liked? You know what you will get with them. You know they will never do anything devious or malicious. Not only are they honorable, but they are honored amongst their peers. That’s the life we should all strive for. That is the life we can all have if we pursue justice and kindness.