- Lewis Campbell
July 2020: A Word for the Anxious - Proverbs 12:25
Updated: Jul 8, 2021
"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad."
(Prov 12 v 25)
These past few months have been an anxious time for many. I'm sure each of us will have had anxious moments along the way. For some it might be anxiety caused by unemployment or being furloughed. For others it will be caused by the fear of potentially getting the virus itself. Being isolated from others also causes anxiety. Even discussion over re-opening our workplaces and shops are making some people anxious. Many will be anxious about the thought of even returning to their normal work patterns and way of life
Anxiety is not a new thing. Just read the book of Proverbs. In Proverbs 12, verse 25 the writer talks about anxiety. He describes it as a weight. Anyone who has experienced anxiety in their life will agree that it feels like a weight on our shoulders. It drags us down, it paralyses us, it distracts us from what is in front of us. It sits in our hearts and minds like a heavy weight. The biblical writers were no strangers to this pain. The Psalms often describe this kind of anxiety that affects the soul, mind and the body.
Having described the problem, the writer also describes a sort of solution. I say sort of because I don't think we are supposed to believe that all anxiety will magically disappear. He does however say, ' a good word makes him glad.' This can mean that a solution to the problem has arrived and the person is glad because there is no longer a problem. However it can also mean that the person has been cheered by another person and is enabled to face whatever is causing the anxiety. How often is that the case? There is a challenge we are facing in our lives and it is weighing us down and someone just encourages us, cheers us up a little bit and we find the courage to move ahead. It is not that the problem or even all of our anxious thoughts have gone away. It is simply that the 'good word' has given us strength to go on.
This emphasises the need for us to be looking out for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. Many of the struggles that we face, cannot be cured in an instant but we can help one another as we go through life together. Perhaps there is someone that you can get alongside in the Church and bring that 'good word.' It might be encouraging them from scripture, praying with them or it might just be spending time with them, listening to them and having a laugh with them.
Of course as believers it is important that we point one another to Christ. We think of our saviour as he felt great anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was troubled, distressed and overwhelmed. He is our great high priest before whom we boldly come. We do this because he is able to sympathise with our weaknesses. He is the one who has been tempted as we are yet without sin (Heb 4 v 15-16).