AN AMAZING FACT: The average person spends about 336 hours of his or her life kissing.
Pressing your lips against another person or object has a variety of meanings in different cultures. Depending on the context, a kiss can show love and affection, be a greeting, or be a ritual demonstrating devotion. In the right context, kissing can be good for you. Babies seem to grow and thrive when given appropriate physical affection. Husbands who kiss their wives goodbye each day before going to work live longer and the wives experience fewer health problems.
You can find many references to kissing in the Bible. Isaac kissed his son Jacob (Genesis 27:26). After anointing David with oil, Samuel kissed him to show his fealty to the new king (1 Samuel 10:1). Mary Magdalene kissed the feet of Jesus to show gratitude and worship (Luke 7:38). And there are even a few references to the traditional romantic kiss. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is better than wine” (Song of Solomon 1:2).
According to our text for this evening, how would a right answer be like a kiss on the lips? Some translations interpret a “right” answer as one that is honest or even frank. “Giving an honest answer is a sign of true friendship” (Proverbs 24:26 CEV). “An honest answer is as pleasing as a kiss on the lips” (ERV). This verse stands in contrast to one that precedes it: “He who says to the wicked, ‘You are righteous,’ him the people will curse; nations will abhor him” (v. 24).
When a person speaks the truth, especially in times when it might be painful, it is a blessing. Dishonest kings and two-faced leaders cannot be trusted. Like a sincere kiss, which shows affection and love, an honest answer shows how another is concerned for our welfare. “But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them” (v. 25).
Then, of course, there is one kiss in the Bible that led to the death of two people. Judas betrayed Jesus with a false kiss of friendship (Luke 22:47, 48). Christ was then taken, tried, and crucified. Judas, who realized the injustice of this action, went out and hung himself. A gesture of deep friendship had been turned into a breach of trust. May our words and kisses always speak the truth! “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:5, 6).
Additional reading: Proverbs 24:17–34
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer. Proverbs 24:26