Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
God’s creation is undoubtedly amazing and the lowly honey bee is one of the finest examples of His amazing design. Most bee-keepers that I know are always full of fascinating facts about these little insects, many of whom found their way into keeping bees because of a deep appreciation for and an almost whimsical fascination with the ways of bees. I was such a person.
One observation that has always fascinated me about honeybee hives is the mathematical design of each hexagon honey cell. A mathematician was once quoted as saying bees are “heavens-instructed mathematicians.” The root of this mathematical wonder is in bees’ designed choice to produce perfectly sized hexagonally-shaped honeycombs.
So why do bees use hexagons in building their hives? Efficient design is the key. Hexagons are known to be one of the strongest geometric shapes making the hexagon honey cell a wise choice. Yet what is much more important to bees is the fact that these shapes fit together perfectly requiring the least amount of wax while yeilding the highest volume of storage. Hexagon cells in the hive are both the perfect size for the development of their young and the optimal size for storing their supply of honey.
Maybe this perfect design is why God’s word uses the illustration of a honeycomb to spotlight the power of gracious words, words that feed the soul and promote healing to bones. Words are powerful. With them, you can speak both life and death. When we use gracious words with our family, team, or employees, we create a culture of goodwill and strength. When we are gracious, appreciative, and thankful, even unhappy customers walk away blessed.
But gracious words are even said to bring healing to the bones. Solomon was using this metaphor to symbolize how gracious words allowed us to regain strength and purpose. Bones are our body’s foundational structure and without them, we lose all strength and productivity.
In both our business and family relationships, gracious words can restore that which is broken. They can restore productivity. They can bring strength where there is weakness. Gracious words are God’s way to restore the soul and to return in strength back to God’s design. Just as the honeybee comb provides, protect and restores, so gracious words are God’s efficient design for all relationships bringing heaven-instructed patterns of healing and encouragement into our lives.