“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”
Proverbs 12:25 (NIV)
Anxiety. Fear. Worry. They keep you awake at night. They rob you of your joy. They paralyze you. All of them bring a heavy heart, as noted in the first part of Proverbs 12:25. A heavy heart can affect our whole being since the word heart here is figurative for our mind – the place where our thoughts and feelings originate and reside. Thankfully, though, there is a remedy for a burdened heart. The second part of this verse suggests that a kind word can cheer up the anxious heart. I love this!
Have you ever been anxious or worried and had someone tell you something that encouraged you? That person just gave you a kind word! Kind words may not always relieve our burden or solve our problem but they sure can lighten it. Proverbs 25:11 tells us that a timely word is a beautiful treasure. I’m thankful for the encouraging words I’ve received when I was downcast or discouraged, such as the times when out of the blue and at just the right moment someone would tell me I was beautiful or kind or good at a particular task.
Consider the kind words you’ve heard in your lifetime and thank the Lord for the people who have encouraged you with them! And, if you haven’t received kind words in this way, take heart. There is a whole book of kind words written just for you: the Bible. If you need encouragement, meditate on the following verses:
John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (NASB)
Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV)
Isaiah 43:2: “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” (NLT)
Zephaniah 3:17: “For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (NLT)
1 Peter 5:7: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (NLT)
God cares for you; after all, you are his masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10)!
In addition to pondering these verses, also consider: Have you spoken any kind words to others lately? Make it a point to say something kind to someone every day and be sincere in what you say. Practice 1 Thessalonians 5:11: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”
Remember, the prescription you need for a kind word a day is the same prescription needed by those around you! Choose kindness, receive kindness and let your hearts be lightened!