Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
There are so many ups and downs in life. There are some who live on that roller coaster of up and down and in some ways thrive in that type of life. There are others who rarely dip far and seem to ride the smooth track. Then, there are those of us somewhere in the middle. For all, whether they admit it or not, anxiety will show up. This Proverb describes this anxiety well. It is like a weight that at times seems too heavy to carry.
However, at times, this verse sends me to a place of shame. I think to myself, “I should not be anxious. I am sinning because of my fear.” This, of course, creates a different level of anxiety. Because of this, I begin to analyze way too much. When I begin to think too much, I create scenarios that are bigger than life and fear really takes hold. Then, not wanting to feel afraid, I become angry and begin to act that anger out in unhealthy ways. Turning it over to God through prayer and petition is sometimes difficult for a control freak like me. I like to think my way out.
Most of the time, someone close to me can see into my heart. He or she can read my countenance and will ask me about it or even skip to just giving a kind word. Even though I do not accept praise and blessing well (I have a hard time believing what I am hearing), those kind words carry me a long ways. Furthermore, I believe that in those times, god has sent the right person with the right kindness to help lift my heart.
My challenge is twofold: First, I need to be the kind word more often in my life. There are those around me who have an anxious heart. I have to be careful that I am not playing “hero” and filling a need for myself. I simply want to be more aware of lifting up another’s anxious heart.
Secondly, I need to seek out those who give kind words when I am in the middle of my anxiety. Trusted friends who know me well can tell me the truth about who I am. I can go anywhere to fish for a compliment. But those compliments and truths about me from friends help me to see and know that I have little to be anxious about. This allows be to bring it to the Father in prayer in a different way.
When anxious, bring to the Father and look for those who can help. When you see someone anxious, give the kind word to lift his/her heart.
1. What has been your go to place when anxious?
2. Do you ride the roller coaster of anxiety or do you not even get on? Explain.
3. When was the last time you offered a kind word?
4. How often do you try to work your own anxiety out without the Lord’s help or someone else’s help?
5. How does that work for you?
6. This week pay attention to your anxiety. Seek God and seek friends. Pay attention to other’s anxiety and offer a kind word.
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