Today’s Blog: What are Your Good Things?
TODAY’S PROVERB: From the fruit of a man’s mouth he enjoys good things, but the treacherous crave violence. Proverbs 13:2, TLV
I love this proverb. It is ripe with imagination of all the possible “good things” that can come from speaking. But, what type of speaking are we talking about? Golly. All sorts of things. Wisdom. Compassion. Hope. Love. Correction. Knowledge. Discernment. Directions. Good News. Okay, you get the idea.
What these topics have in common is that when we speak them to others, there will be some type of fruit. This verse says the fruit can be good or treacherous.
I remember my nephew and I eating at an Israeli restaurant. Their chef interestingly enough was from Lebanon. She was Muslim, and boy, could she cook! My nephew’s father is from a Middle Eastern country so he is pretty fluent in conversational Arabic.
After our delicious meal, I complimented the chef via our server who translated. The chef nodded and smiled politely. However, my nephew complimented her in Arabic, in a way that was culturally meaningful. Something like: the meal made him feel warm and grateful. She blushed and giggled. A few minutes later, my nephew dined on delicious baklava, compliments of the chef.
It made me think about how the fruit of our lips when combined with a sincere effort to connect with someone, could produce even more fruit. I’m sure my compliment was appreciated, but my nephew’s compliment was personal and meaningful.
What if our words of sympathy are accompanied by a card or a plate of cookies? If we must share a difficult truth, what if we do it in love over a cup of tea? And, what if we take time to listen with our heart and never say a word?
Nice? Or Kind?
On February 3rd, we talked about the difference between being nice, and being kind. I suppose that’s what we’re talking about. My compliment was nice — it didn’t cost me much. My nephew’s compliment was kind, because it came with the investment of learning another language and exposure to a culture he took the time to know.
We won’t always dine on a delicious treat as a fruit, but we may enjoy fruit that lasts a lifetime — like friendship, trust, respect.