“An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.” Proverbs 24:26
I was reminded of this verse while preparing the sermon two weeks back, on love. It is a great example of how God’s “living and active” word speaks colourfully to our hearts as it urges us to live a life of love.
In what way is an honest answer like a kiss on the lips? Well, both the honest answer and the kiss involve two pairs of lips matching each other. Just as two pairs of lips kissing match each other in a mutually satisfying experience, so the lips which give an honest answer offer a wonderfully matching response to the lips which asked the question.
More simply, just as a kiss is an act of love, so is an honest answer. If you want to be a loving person, straightforward truth-telling is essential.
I don’t think that this verse has anything to do with “what you see is what you get” bluntness. A truthful answer doesn’t have to be a violent kiss. No, this is about using God’s gift of speech wisely. As in all things, Jesus himself is the perfect model. Think of his clever answer to those who asked about paying taxes to Caesar (Mark 12:13-17). All of his teachings provide a crystal-clear warning to repent and find forgiveness in Him, before it is too late.
An honest answer can sometimes even save a life.
Everyone who has been saved by believing the truthful, loving words of Jesus, should be a truth teller. Not only when it is easy, but also when it is hard.
I am sure we won’t easily forget this wonderful verse: An honest answer is a like a kiss on the lips.
Heavenly Father, thank you that the Proverbs teach us, and your Son shows us, the wise use of speech. Help us to be truthful in all we do, especially when there is pressure to be not truthful. Enables us to use your gift of speech wisely, to encourage, build up and even to save life. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rev Andrew Schmidt