READING: Proverbs 12-13, 2 Corinthians 5:16-7:1
It’s easy to find people who wrestle with anxiety. In fact, I suspect most of us struggle at times with fears and concerns that take more control of us than we want. The unhelpful thoughts become continuous, and the weight becomes heavy. Sometimes, sleep becomes hard to find. All of one’s being is consumed by the fears. In the words of the writer of Proverbs, “Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down” (Prov 12:25). Matthew Henry put it this way: “it makes them stoop, prostrates and sinks them.”*
On the other hand, the Proverbs writer also reminds us of one remedy for anxiety: “a good word cheers it [the heart] up” (Prov 12:25). Even for the most anxious person, the right words spoken by the right person at the right time can be uplifting and comforting. That good word may be as simple as “I still love you,” “God’s in control,” “I’m with you,” or “It’s going to be all right”—but all these examples are illustrations of the power of the spoken good word.
The anxious friend finds encouragement in the right words. Thus, we need to be alert to those around us—and be ready and willing to offer a good word to someone who’s worrying. We have the Word of God in our hands, so it ought not be difficult for us to find words that encourage.
PRAYER: “God, help me to be sensitive to those around me today—and be ready to speak a good word to those who are filled with anxiety.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Review and catch up day
*Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 981). Peabody: Hendrickson.