Many people I have known over the years have confessed that they are saddened by the lack of affection they receive or express. As it turns out, few things express affection as satisfyingly as a kiss. Indeed, one of the wonders of creation is that God designed lips for kissing and for being kissed. Kissing causes our brains to release serotonin and oxytocin, commonly known as “the love hormone.” It also sparks a surge of adrenaline, with all of its associated effects. Even better, kisses lower our stress levels causing a decrease in our levels of cortisol. Unfortunately, it seems that most of us don’t experience enough kissing.
We all know that kisses can be given by pressing lips to lips, or lips to hand, or lips to cheek. And we would do well to use our physical lips for God’s good purpose. But we can give kisses another way as well, by pressing our lips to someone’s heart: “The person who speaks honest, straightforward words kisses the lips” (Proverbs 24:26). Honest words in our ears are as affectionately satisfying as a good kiss. And vice versa.
The Bible is full of aphorisms that reinforce the importance of this truth for us. Good words in the right circumstances are more valuable than “apples of gold in a setting of silver.” They are a fountain of life and a basket of food. The mouth of the righteous flows with acceptable wisdom that produces healing in the hearer. Righteous lips are the delight of kings [and employers and coworkers and friends …], and the one who speaks in a godly way is loved. Indeed our hearts will rejoice, when someone’s lips speak what is right.
Ah, to experience the joy of such a kiss. Oh, to be the cause of such joy. To do so it is imperative that “no rotten word proceed from our mouths, but only such as is good for edification, according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Gracious words strengthen our hearts by making it easier for us to enjoy some aspect of God’s capabilities. They remind us of the wonder and scope of the promises he guaranteed by raising Jesus from the dead. They remind us that God will provide the resources we need through the relationships he has given us in the Body of Christ.
So let us fill our hearts with the knowledge of the riches of God’s grace in Jesus Christ our Lord. For out of the affectionate treasure of our hearts our mouths speak. Then we will be able to obey the command to “greet one another with a holy kiss.”
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