The Kiss of Honesty

An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship. – (Proverbs 24:26, NLT)

An honest answer is as pleasing as a kiss on the lips. – (Proverbs 24:26, ERV)

An honest answer is like a warm hug. – (Proverbs 24:26, MSG)

A straight answer is as precious as a kiss on the lips. – (Proverbs 24:26, VOICE)

 

My daily reading that was listed for today, was actually a few chapters earlier in Proverbs. As I unpacked the list of thirty wise things to remember, I could not help but continue reading. The analogy of honesty being compared to something tender and intimate, is one that I appreciate, for as I thought about those with whom I interact the most, I realize that I am surrounded by people who are honest with love. They do not hesitate to tell me the truth, yet it is done in love, rather than spoken harshly or with accusation when I am in the wrong. My heart is handled with care, so I know that I can trust the intentions of those who are speaking, even if at times, it is difficult to hear. As I speak to others, I try to do the same. If I am not able to speak the truth in love, with a heart that is for the one to whom I am speaking, I wait until I am ready to do so. This is necessary everywhere, but especially in the classroom. I am seeing the fruit of my honest investment beginning to payoff, as a few of the students with whom I struggled the most at the beginning of the year, are now coming around. Consistent care and kindness, speaking truth that reminds them of their purpose and responsibility, is making an impact. May we ever seek to give honest answers in love, so that the recipients may receive the words we bring like a warm hug.

 

An honest answer, God Delights to Give

Is greater indeed;

When given in love,

Like a kiss, received.

To hear the truth told,

With a heart for us;

Is a gift given,

Such trust is precious.

Let us all choose well,

In love, speak what’s true;

For words can warm hearts,

Bring hope and make new.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that honest answers are as precious as hugs and kisses. Thank You that You place people in our lives who will be honest in love and speak truth in kindness. Forgive us for the times that we chose to withhold an honest answer, or lacked love in our response to someone in need of the truth in love. Teach us to trust and rely on You more, so that we would seek You and Your heart in all things, as You are faithful to give us the words that demonstrate Your heart through honesty in love. Show us how to love those around us well, as we speak the truth in love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they are made aware of the kindness and care that You provide. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to give us the grace and courage to give straight answers that are given in love and received as precious proof of trust. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3

Honest Answers

An honest answer is like a warm hug. – (Proverbs 24:26, MSG)

A straight answer is as precious as a kiss on the lips. – (Proverbs 24:26, VOICE)

 

At first, I wondered why honesty and intimacy were being compared. However, it took but a moment to realize that without honesty, intimacy cannot exist. We do not hug people that we do not trust, not do we want, allow, nor value a kiss from anyone whom we cannot trust at their word. How we answer, what we say, and the weight of our words matter. When asked, an honest response will be remembered. Trust takes root and grows as honesty is shown. However, the opposite holds true as well. If we are not honest in our answering, trust cannot exist, and relationships will remain fractured. May we choose to answer honestly in all things, allowing truth to establish trust and warmth in all those around us.

 

To answer in truth,The Direction of Discipline

Is to create trust;

Forever needed,

Relational must.

In love and in life,

Wherever we go;

Trust must be built up,

So friendships can grow.

As sweet as a kiss,

Straight answers received;

For the heart’s made known,

And trust is achieved.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have shown us first that we can trust You. Thank You that You bring people into our lives that are trustworthy, and that by Your Spirit in us, we can be the same. Forgive us for the times that we have not given straight answers, or have chosen to stay silent when we should have spoken. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would give the honest answers that establish trust and intimacy with all those around us. Show us how to love others well, so that they would see You in and through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to establish trust through honesty in all of our interactions. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things. Who, O God, is like You? – Psalm 71:19

May We Love Much

A sinful woman, known publicly for the lifestyle she had been living, recognized her opportunity for escape from the life she’d lived, and by faith, pressed past a multitude of laws, both written and unwritten, committing a plethora of societal faux pas, as she entered a room of men to bow at the feet of Jesus.

The beauty in the story is that this woman, washed the feet of Jesus with her tears, and dried them with her hair.  She then proceeded to kiss His feet and pour expensive perfume upon them.  At the time, His host had neglected to offer a basin to wash Jesus’ feet upon His arrival, so His sandaled feet were likely full of filth.  That being said, dirt did not deter the woman from serving the Savior with what she had.  Her tears of repentance were cleansing indeed, for when His host questioned Jesus’ allowance of this indignity, He responded, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – for she loved much.  But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” – (Luke 7:47)  Jesus went on to tell the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” – (Luke 7:50)

Though we are saved by faith and not by acts, faith frequently requires action.  Often, we must move outside of what is comfortable and familiar, in order to fulfill that which He is calling us to do.  In order to grow and deepen our faith, movement is necessary.  If we are standing still, remaining stagnant – the world keeps moving forward, so it actually ends up being as if we were walking backward.  I want a faith that is growing and thriving, not just merely surviving.  When I invest my time, energy, talents, trust and entire life in Him and His purposes, I cannot help but grow.  The more I give Him room, the more space He has to utilize my life.

Stained by our sin,May We Love Much

each and every heart;

by faith, set free,

we’re granted fresh start.

Cleansed by the cross,

on Calvary’s hill;

He paid the price,

for our freedom fill.

By faith, receive,

that which is given;

mercy and grace,

love to start living.

Look at the scars,

for they bore our own;

embrace His life,

and truth shall be known.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You willingly forgive all that we ask, when we ask by faith, believing that You are who You say You are, and that You will do, all that You have promised.  Forgive us for thinking that our sins are too great, or for neglecting to love, in places where we should have moved forward in faith.  Help us to hear You clearly, and to act on all that You ask.  May we be ever moving forward in faith – learning and growing in Your love and grace.  May our lives be a light to all who have yet to see the reality of Who You are, and may many come to know Your saving grace in this season.  Be glorified in all that we say and do, and may we love much.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.