A Good Kiss

For Monday, August 20, 2007
Proverbs 24:23-26

23 These also are sayings of the wise.
Partiality in judging is not good.
24 Whoever says to the wicked, "You are in the right,"
will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
25 but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
and a good blessing will come upon them.
26 Whoever gives an honest answer
kisses the lips.

Partiality in judging happens because of fear or greed. There is fear of repecussions by the wicked. They are often powerful and usually ruthless. There is danger in opposing them. There is greed for the bribe offered by the wicked. Being a "friend" of the wicked can lead to wealth and high position.

But the proverb is right. If it is known that a judge rules in favor of the wicked, he is usually maligned by the public. He may get his money and secure his safety, but he loses the blessing of a good name. He may save his body, but loses his soul - both figuratively and literally. He helps to spread cynicism and discouragment in the population. Others lose faith in the justice system and many give in to corruption. The wicked only sink further into their wickedness, since they go unchecked and their belief that there is no one good is reinforced.

It is in such a climate that an honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. Like the kiss that refreshes and delights, so an honest answer refreshes and delights the soul. "There is someone honest, someone who will speak the truth and face the cost. If so, there must be some good in this world. And if one person can speak honestly, then I can as well." And so, just as partiality poisons the environment, so honesty can restore it.

What will you do today - poison or refresh the people around you? Will your speech be as a dagger or a kiss?