A friend of mine is going through a rough period. Anxiety has settled in like a good old friend giving really bad advice. My friend’s smile has disappeared and a slight slump has appeared along with a really heavy sigh. The worries my friend expresses is like a wet blanket draped across the shoulders and bearing down.
I know how it feels.
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up. Proverbs 12:25 HCSB
Ever had your heart weighed down from the grips of anxiety? It is tough beyond belief. It can immobilize, terrorize, and isolate us. Anxiety is pain. No doubt
about it. It hurts our minds, bodies, and spirits. I think William Young, author of The Shack, explains it best:
Pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping u
s from being able to fly … and if left unresolved for very long, you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place.
Yeah, anxiety is a downer. Plain and simple. And it doesn’t have to be full blown depression to bring us down. It can be the everyday kind of anxiety: the fears and cares that are triggered when things aren’t going as smoothly as we had hoped.
But thank the heavens, God gave us a bit of advice…… but a good word cheers it up!
We all recognize our weighted down friends….. they slump, they sigh, they grumble, they cry, they mope around, and often enough, they come to us to talk. And when they do, the power of encouragement can shake the stronghold of anxiety. If we encourage, we lift the burden. And sometimes it doesn’t mean you have the answers to fix the problem but the friendly smile, a thoughtful prayer, or even a warm hug can make a difference.
In fact, Proverbs 15:4a says the tongue that heals is a tree of life. We don’t have to have a counseling degree to simply say, “God loves you and I love you, too.” Sometimes, it takes the pointing out of all the good around your friend that lifts the focus off of the anxiety. And there are times when just a pat on the hand will do.
But what if we take another look at Proverbs 12:25…… Suppose it could mean how we behave. Are we causing anxiety? Are our words weighted down dripping with that soul soaking pain? Are we stirring the pot just enough to bring others down….. I mean misery likes company…… Should we always look at the negative? Does that mean the second half of that proverb mean we need to choose a cheerful tone and good words that bring life to those around us? I guess, that means we really need to evaluate whether or not our own actions bring people up or pull them down. Are we clipping wings that causes others not to fly?
Oh my, now I am feeling a little anxious. But, God has placed in our lives those positive people who do offer the encouraging word we need to hear and an example in which we can learn from. I want to have the tongue that heals and springs forth the tree of life.
And I will start by saying, “God loves you…….”