I am often confused by the new sugar substitutes out there. The label, “natural” is sometimes loosely applied to them. But any artificial sweetener is a synthetic sugar substitute, even if it is derived from naturally occurring substances. I tend to be suspicious of them all. But I especially avoid them because of the aftertaste they sometimes leave in my mouth. I do not have that problem with the natural sweeteners like sugar, honey, molasses or maple syrup. With those my only worry is moderation!
Today’s verse is about a sugar that is always good for you. The honeycomb is used as an image for gracious words that do a body good! Gracious words are words that are intended to build up the other person. In a world where so many use words to criticize, demean and gain power, the gracious word is about reaffirming someone’s worth. Our conversation is to always be full of grace, just like a seasoning (Col. 4:6). We are told to avoid unwholesome talk and say only what is helpful and encouraging (Eph. 4:29).
Words like that would be sweet and they are all too rare. More often we hear words that are sweet but artificially so and insincere. Rather than building up, those words leave a disagreeable aftertaste. And if I use gracious words for the purpose of getting something in return, they cease being gracious! I know how wonderful it is to hear something that builds me up. Why then am I so stingy in speaking the same kind of gracious words to others?
Lord, may the words of my mouth be gracious to others and pleasing to You today!