Proverbs 12:25

Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs him down,
but an encouraging word brings him joy.

Today’s proverb is one of the best Christmas presents you could give. Of course, I’m just thinking about Christmas because they verse is 12:25, and I love Christmas. But, let me explain.

Do you know someone who is anxious? If you answered no, check your pulse. Put your finger under your nose and see if you can feel air moving in and out. Because, I would guarantee that you have someone in your life that is anxious. We all get that way from time to time. We get stressed about family, work, finances…then we get stressed out because we’re stressed out. So our stress stresses us out.

This word in the original language carries with it the idea of a branch or a tree being bent low from stress or the wind. Or even from fruit. Just because someone’s life is very fruitful doesn’t mean they don’t have stress. If you have seen apple trees when the fruit is ripe you know what I mean. The tree is full of ripe and delicious fruit, yet the tree itself is bending and sometimes even breaking from the weight of the fruit. Anxiety comes on us from all angles.

Of course, they are not the same kind of anxiety. But either way, wouldn’t it be great to hear the encouraging, good word you need to hear when you are stressed out – for whatever reason? That’s what the gift of this Proverb is today.

The Hebrew word “good” (טוֹבtov) refers to what is beneficial for life, promotes life, creates life or protects life. The “good word” here would include encouragement, kindness, and insight – the person needs to regain the proper perspective on life and renew his confidence.

That’s an amazing word! Of course, it doesn’t have to be just one word, but the idea is to speak into the anxious persons’ life in a way that is beneficial. Share the kind of word that is encouraging and kind and insightful. The kind of word that will help the person through their circumstance – positive or negative.

Be careful, however, not to share you word in a condescending fashion. That’s not helpful and doesn’t promote life. All that does is make the person mad or more depressed. Instead, look for the words that will come as a gift to that person. Words that aren’t expected and maybe even undeserved, but words that will breath new life into them and give them that little extra push that they need to keep moving forward even when it’s hard to do so.

That’s the best gift you can give. Maybe not the best, but pretty high up there. Give the gift of encouragement all year long. Decided to speak encouraging and life-giving words to those in your life. It will change them, and it will change you!

Merry Christmas!