This Southernism promotes the benefits of being sweet and kind instead of displaying a sour and rude attitude. Just as pesky flies are attracted to sweet, sugary foods, people are drawn toward others with sweet behavior.
Most likely you’ve witnessed a customer berate an employee in a restaurant or in a retail space in an attempt to get their way. Yet, many times the irate person leaves fuming because management refused to bow to his/her belligerent behavior. Acidic actions rarely yield a sweet result. Treating people with contempt or disrespect never moves a needle in our favor, besides it is plain wrong. But kindness, well that’s a different story.
Proverbs 16:24 reads, “Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Speaking kind words not only builds up the speaker but also the recipient. In a world full of vitriol, kindness contrasts.
Amelia Earhart was quoted as saying, “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” This reminds me of the majestic live oak trees and the seedlings that spring up around them. Kind words provide comfort and shelter in a scorching, harsh world.
This week, let us purpose to extend kindness to everyone. Not just the people we like, but everyone who crosses our path. The neighbor who has been needling you about your dog’s barking. The coworker who constantly complains. The in-law who behaves more like an outlaw.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Lord, help extend kindness, compassion, and forgiveness this week. Let my words be sweet to the hearer. Amen.