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,
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.
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