A few years ago I watched the movie, “Mona Lisa Smile” starring Julia Roberts. She played the role of an Art History college professor at a prestigious eastern girls school during the early 1950’s. She was a “liberal” thinker for those times, and felt that the well educated women at this college could have careers outside the home after they graduated if they so desired. Her ideas were not easily accepted by many at this institution, because even though the women at this school were educated they were expected to marry well to do men and have traditional lives of the times. One of the young women at the college had a great deal of power over her friends, other students, and even some of the faculty because of her family background and her creative ability to write for the campus paper. Unfortunately, she wrote mostly negative, unpleasant articles, and her jealous and vindictive ways were self-destructive not only for herself, but for many who came in contact with her. Towards the end of the movie, with the help of friends and her college professor (played by Julia Roberts), she becomes aware of her hateful ways, changes how she acts with others, and becomes an advocate for doing what is right. Her words still had power, but now they had the power to build up and not destroy.
All of us have experienced the power of words on us and on others. Whether spoken gently or harshly, negatively or positively, words have influence over all who hear them.
Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are like honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
God wants us to know just how powerful a pleasant attitude can be. Describing words as “honeycomb” gives us visions of sweetness, but the sweetness described here is sweet to the soul – the deep inner part of all of us- and that is powerful. And healing to the bones, ahhh…. for those of us who live with daily pain, the thought of our bones healing from the pain we experience, is a miracle in itself. Definitely, this image is powerful.