Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. (Proverbs 12:25, NLT)
As Solomon so wisely pointed out in the first half of Proverbs 12:25, worry, or anxiety, can weigh a person down. For some people, dealing with anxiety can be like having a weight around their necks. It threatens to pull them down into the depths of depression and drown them in a sea of despair. The ultimate antidote for the anxiety or the worry that they feel can only be found in the Lord. The antidote is the peace that comes when they bring their anxiety and worry to God and lay it at His feet in prayer (Philippians 4:6-7). But, there is something that we can do to help people around us in dealing with their worry or anxiety. That something, found in the second half of Proverbs 12:25, is a word of encouragement.
We all are called to encourage one another. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us that we are to encourage one another and to build one another up. And just a few verses later, in 1 Thessalonians 5:14, we are told to encourage those who are fainthearted, or timid. One of the ways by which we can do this is by bringing a word of encouragement when it is needed. Words are powerful. With the words that roll off our tongues we can tear a person down or we can build a person up. Proverbs 18:21 says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. With the same tongue, we can bless God and curse men; from the same mouth, we can send forth both words of blessing and words of cursing (James 3:9-10).
As followers of Christ, we must always look to His example. Jesus’ words were always intended to build people up and to encourage them. If someone you know is filled with worry or anxiety, follow the wise words of Solomon and cheer them up by offering an encouraging word.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.