A sweet smelling fragrance
An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars. Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction... There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:19-20; 24
Are you attracting people because you are winsome and friendly? From the text, we are admonished to be friendly. The words we say produce result; they have consequences, good or bad. This is why we are commanded to be quick to listen and slow speak (James 1:19). Our speech is powerful and the wise use of it could produce the intended result. Through careful choice of words, our language could be fruitful. “Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction.” We are being warned to be watchful in airing our own opinions to the point that we love our words so much that we are separating ourselves instead of becoming a friend to someone. The tongue can be highly dangerous. We should recognize the power of words and use them with restraint. Voicing one’s own views can become an addictive habit with dangerous results. Our ability to be friendly comes from the inner qualities God have been shaping within us. It is God who knows and searches the thoughts we have within. Nothing in us is hidden before God. As the Psalmist had prayed so our prayers must be; “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Psalm 139:23-24). The heart-cry is for God to see if there is something within that could grieve Him. Should any sin be exposed, the next act in prayer would be to confess and forsake it. Sin is such a pervasive thing that we cannot even see it all. It clings to every thought and comes out through our words and our deeds. Once we become a child of God because we have appropriated the new life that He gives those that trust in Him through Christ, we have received the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. As an expression of our gratitude, we will seek to live a righteous life. God wants our witness to be a sweet fragrance to Him and to others. “Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God... to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16).