Friends, Family & Acquaintances – Lepidoptera or Hymenoptera?

We all know a myriad of people and whether we know it or not, we categorize them in our minds. Which people are safe to be around? Which ones make us feel good? Which ones are toxic for us? And finally, which ones do we need to be around for our own good? All legitimate questions and all ones we need to figure out. Sometimes a good visual, taken from entomology, helps us sort out the categories. 


Lepidoptera is the order of insects that includes butterflies. I’ve never actually met a person that did not like butterflies. They are beautiful, varied and couldn’t hurt you if they tried. It’s great to have people like that in our circles. They add beauty to our lives, speak with gracious words, help us up when we are down and encourage us to go forward on paths that we wouldn’t otherwise move forward on. These people are safe and we love to be around them. 

Like butterflies, these people are not always around us. When we run into them or they call us, they are a delight and their presence is a gift to us. They speak healing and life to us and their “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb – sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24. We can not have too many people in this category in our lives.


Then there are the people in the Hymenoptera category. Hymenoptera is the order of insects that includes wasps in it. Just the name wasp brings up negative feelings within ourselves. We try to avoid wasps and spray their nests with insecticide to keep them away from our yards and our houses. The above is not a pretty picture. Wasps can sting you and not die and live to sting you again should you get near them. We want to stay away from them because they can do us real harm. Their venom is toxic to say the least.

We all know people like that within our circles of friends, family and acquaintances. We see them coming our way and we turn and go the other way. When we are invited out to dinner with them, we politely decline. We would not dare tell them anything of importance or relevance about ourselves because they would distort it and use it against us. Wasps are very good at gossip and the tales they have told about us are probably still circulating to this very day. We know we want to avoid wasps like the plague. When dealing with wasps our hope is to know that “Discretion will preserve you, understanding will keep you to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things.” Proverbs 2: 11-12.


Are all the insects in the order of Hymenoptera negative? No, not at all. Take the honey bee, for instance. It will sting if threatened, but only to its own demise. The honey bee will die if it stings you and because of this, it is usually not aggressive. The honey bee does many wonderful things including pollinating flowers and fruit trees and producing that wonderful substance we call honey.     

Just as I value honey bees, I value people who are like them. These people will tell you the truth and though it stings for a moment, the correction they bring will bring life and healing to your soul. They produce good things inside of you because they are willing to put themselves at risk in order to keep you from going in the wrong direction. I value the correction this kind of person brings to my life because “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:6. Ultimately this kind of friend brings a sweetness to my life that I find invaluable. Honey bees are at a premium today and so are good true friends who will tell you the truth with the intention of helping you become the person God created you to be.

I know I’ve placed the people in my circles in their proper categories. How about you? How do your friends, family and acquaintances stack up…Lepidoptera or Hymenoptera?

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used with Permission.




12 thoughts on “Friends, Family & Acquaintances – Lepidoptera or Hymenoptera?

  1. What a great illustration! I have friends and family members that fit in either the first or second group. Very few bees, but the ones I have are priceless.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for your comments! Most of my close family fits in the honey bee category. My husband, sons, and my close personal friends will tell me the truth. I value that above all else in friendship!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! One of the best posts I’ve read on WP. Describes the various character types we will come across in our lives. I’m pretty sure I’m a butterfly yet would love to be a bee at times 🌼😊

    Liked by 1 person

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