Proverbial Thought for the Day 5 – Encourage the Worrier
“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” (Proverbs 12:25, NLT)
I’ve felt the heavy weight of worry on my shoulders more times than I care to admit. For years it was something I really struggled with. To this day, it can rear its ugly head and make me question just about anything, but I’ve definitely made strides in managing it better than in years past.
Worry is a weight that lies heavily upon us. Its heaviness can at times feel crushing and suffocating. It may cause our hearts to beat more rapidly and our breathing to become short and shallow. It can affect us physically and make us feel ill.
Worry runs rampant in areas that matter most to us. We may worry about our health, our kids, our finances, our marriage, our career, our social status, our inadequacies, and a host of other things. These worries can consume us and distract us from things of value. It fuels us with fear rather than faith.
But oh how pleasant it is for the worrier to cross paths with the encourager. When our minds are filled with worrisome thoughts, it’s such a comfort to have someone come along and offer encouraging words that lighten the heaviness we’re feeling emotionally. The worrier is going to be naturally attracted to the encourager because they offer hope and release from the burdens they carry.
If you know a worrier, make an effort to offer them words that will encourage them in the midst of the negative thoughts filling their mind. For me, it can be as simple as asking my husband if something I’m worrying about will turn out okay, and he simply responds with “I think it will, Ruth.” It’s amazing how powerful these simple words are, and how they immediately deflate the tightness in my shoulders and chest.
A dangerous combination is for two worriers to spend a lot of time together. One worrier will feed the worries of the other. It’s essential to our mental health that we don’t allow ourselves to fall into these cycles with another worrier. If we are prone to worry, we want to surround ourselves with people who will lift us up and help us establish thoughts based on truth. The encourager will help us find joy and hope in the midst of our worry, and bring us to a place of greater faith.
I’ve been on both ends of this proverb; I’ve been the worrier and I’ve been the one who has helped shine light on someone who was anxious and feeling afraid. There is such wisdom in the simple words of this proverb. Let’s try to be one who offers encouragement when someone we know is struggling with worry, fear or doubt. To lift burdens and cheer someone up is a privilege, and a way to be like Christ. Helping others find a place of joy and cheer is a valuable way to show godly love and support. May we be willing to do this for those who are in need.