Proverbs 24:26

ESV Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.
NIV An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
NASB One who gives a right answer Kisses the lips.
CSB He who gives an honest answer gives a kiss on the lips.
NLT An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship.
KJV Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.

What does Proverbs 24:26 mean?

The phrasing of this verse includes a few subtleties not easily translated into other languages. This figure of speech is grounded in the idea of a kiss being an expression of friendship and affection. The Hebrew words in this statement imply something sincere, "straight," and truthful. The idea that wise, honest, helpful answers are blessings to the one who hears them is mentioned in other proverbs, as well (Proverbs 12:17, 25; 15:23; 16:13).

This corresponds to the idea of "speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15). It is possible to be truthful and yet not be loving (Proverbs 15:1; 1 Peter 3:15). Yet it is impossible to be genuinely loving unless one is truthful. There is no love expressed in comforting lies or reassurances. Ephesians 4:25 says, "Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another." Verse 29 further expounds, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."

Speaking lies, even to spare an argument or protect another person's feelings, shows a lack of respect and a lack of love for that person. Of course, not all people willingly accept wisdom (Proverbs 9:7; 15:12; 29:9). Therefore, discretion is important (Proverbs 26:4–5; Matthew 7:6).
What is the Gospel?
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