In my bible study group we discussed the significance of names. We talked about how important our names are to God, and we read the meaning of each of our names.
Melissa means “honey bee”. I’ve always viewed this meaning as cute but not very significant. That evening however, the Lord spoke into me the true meaning behind my name – and my significance.
When “honey bee” was read He immediately gave me the phrase “kind words are like honey to the soul” referencing the Proverb. Then what felt like an instant download replayed in my head;
“If honey bees create honey, then you create words. And you are to be gracious with your words – both spoken and written.”
I didn’t share with anyone that night, but I sat through the rest of bible study soaking God’s truth up. The word gracious jumped out at me. He didn’t tell me to be kind with my words, or loving, or positive – He told me to be gracious with them. Gracious means divine grace.
I also felt the word “written” vibrate inside of me, as if to confirm that I was meant to write. Something I have always known but struggle with. And that’s how good God is. Not only does He know where my doubts and fears are but He chose to cast light on them in such a personal way – by using my name!
I, Melissa, am called to be gracious with my words and tell people of His divine grace.
That night I went home and looked up Proverbs 16:24 and my heart jumped when I read, “gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”. Gracious.
The small confirmations of the the big things.
Now it would be easy to end the sweet story there. God believes I should write and confirmed my passions. Yay! But the whole story is that I also felt something when the word “spoken” was given to me – and it was a wince of conviction. An internal ouch that reminded me that writing those words aren’t enough – I have to speak them aloud. I have to live them out.
And if we’re being honest, I’m not very gracious with my spoken words. When I write I can control what is said and how it comes across. But when I speak, whatever is top of mind usually spits out. And top of mind isn’t necessarily gracious. It’s usually filled with doubt, concern, stress and judgement.
God gently reminded me that what matters most is not the words on a page, but how I live out those words in my life.
He cares about who I truly am and how I fully love others. He cares about my true heart.
And that heart isn’t found in a blog or on social media. That heart is found in the conversations with my in-laws. It’s found in the words that I say to my husband when we’re arguing behind closed doors. It’s in the words that I think to myself when I’m passing by a mirror. It’s in the words that I sing to my daughter as she learns how to laugh. It’s in the words of a casual hello to a complete stranger.
And so often those are the words that are hardest to say. The ones where we have to shrink our pride and humble ourselves. The ones where we have to take a deep breath of courage and open our mouths. The ones where have to open our hearts and become vulnerable.
Those are the words that matter most.
Those are the words that speak life into hearts and in ways that we can’t comprehend.
So be gracious with your words.