Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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September 5 – Lips And Love

“Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.” Proverbs 24:26

Devotional Thought For The Day

This is one of those passages that leaves some room in the translation. The passage literally consists of only five words: “sawfaw” = lips; “nawshak” = touch, kiss; “shoob” = return, give; “dawbar” = word, matter, answer; and “nawkoakh” = straightforward, correct, true.  The relationships between the nouns and verbs are not clearly indicated so the translators go in different directions.  It is not a particularly deep thought, so there is little danger of translational harm.  Essentially the passage identifies two things as going together, as being similar: an honest, truthful, straightforward answer and a kiss on the lips.  The comparison presumably is one of pleasantness and goodness – love, which a kiss to the lips communicates, is good and pleasant, and so also an honest, short, and truthful answer is both loving and good.

The basic message compels us to consider carefully the gift of language, and the blessedness inherent in using language properly.  We recognize this blessedness when others communicate openly, honestly, and truthfully with us – it is like a kiss! We certainly recognize the evil when people use language to hide the truth or obscure it, to intentionally deceive us. We understand that this deceptive use of language negates any real relationship and turns language into a mere tool of selfish manipulation or even malicious harm – it cuts like a knife.  This is what makes Judas’ betrayal of Jesus so despicable, that it was effected by means of a hypocritical [and viciously malicious] kiss.  The prevalence of this perversion of God’s gift of language and communication, both in our own personal lives and in the world in general, is stark evidence of the depth and duplicity of sin.

So a simple combination of five words calls us to deep repentance, and to consider the nature and blessedness of God’s Word, the Holy Scripture. His Word is truthful and succinct in regard to our sin, the darkness of our hearts and our behavior.  His Word is also truthful and succinct in assuring us of His enduring love, His gracious mercy and forgiveness provided for us in Christ Jesus. His Word is truthful in inviting us to confess our sins with the promise that Christ’s blood cleanses us from all sin.  His Word is warming and bracing in His assurance that through faith in Jesus we have peace with God and eternal life. Yes, His good answer to us is indeed a kiss on the lips, even better!

These same five words also instruct us in the ways of love, at least in regard to our language and communication.  Just as we appreciate the warmth of God’s loving Word, we understand the blessedness and love shared with others when we speak honestly, truthfully, and with goodness toward them.  In our overly “sexualized” culture, a kiss on the lips usually is understood as a mere prelude to something else.  So we fail to properly appreciate the truly important thing, love itself.  Pray we avoid the same shallowness when it comes to our communication and use of language.  But Christ will show us the way – as we receive the kiss of His love through His Word and are transformed by His love.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, the lips You have given us in our creation are able to convey and share love both with language and physical contact. Our sin corrupts this, and all things. Grant us humble and genuine repentance, that our confession be truthful and good. Enable us always to enjoy the kiss of Your love, through faith in Your good and gracious Word. Win us back to real love through Your love, that our lips also convey real love to others. Amen.