I heard about a church that has developed a unique ministry. They have ten beehives that produce a lot of honey, which is sold to support their various mission projects. Several lay people – young and old – have learned the art and science of harvesting the honey and managing the apiary.
Some of honey’s qualities can teach us valuable lessons.
Did you know that bees pollinate 80% of the world’s plants? Bees must visit about 2 million flowers to make a pound of honey. Honey also has many good qualities. Eating local honey can help you combat allergies. Honey has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and contains hydrogen peroxide.
Since we live in a world filled with diverse and opposing opinions, we need to learn the art and science of sweetness to diffuse these sensitivities and oppositions with grace. Regrettably, these are not the common expressions of some in media or in most of our political discourse.
In Proverbs 16:24, King Solomon said, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” King Solomon told us how we are to speak because words can destroy. During this time, messengers were relied on heavily as they did not have telephones or the internet. These messengers needed to be calm and reliable. They needed to use reasoned tongues and seasoned speech – careful to not over-react, no matter the issue. Earlier in that chapter, King Solomon’s words were: “To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue … motives are weighed by the Lord” who sees our heart (vs. 1-2).
Elsewhere, he wrote: “A gentle answer will calm a person’s anger, but an unkind answer will cause more anger. Wise people use knowledge when they speak, but fools pour out foolishness.… As a tree gives fruit, healing words give life, but dishonest words crush the spirit.” (15:1-4)
When dealing with a difficult issue, always use sweet grace spoken from a heart tenderized by God’s love. Honey sweetens our food and heals our bodies. Grace is needed as we deal with difficult issues.
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Where does the sweetness come from? From a humble recognition of our own failure and a surrender to God’s Spirit. Sweetness is not the general characteristic of the heart – but the transformed character by God’s grace.
Prayer: God, when we speak on hard topics or deal with people who oppose our opinions, soften our hearts and sweeten our words with your sweet Spirit. Amen!
Think about it!