by Bobby Patton
Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. Proverbs 12:25
Somewhere down the line, everyone must eventually rely upon someone else to lift their spirits. It’s the way that God designed us. He wants us to have a relationship with Him, and He wants us to have a relationship with others. No matter how much we think we’ve got it together, the very way we’re designed – we may break and fall apart without someone else helping us along the way.
I’m speaking from a heavy experience over the past few months. Anxiety has become an old friend of sorts with me and Sarah. There are issues of job security, lack of jobs opening up, uncertain conversations we’re both expected to have, and much more. The amount of things that can cause anxiety is overwhelming. But the very pure fact that there are cheerful, uplifting and encouraging words spoken between us is what keeps each other going. In fact, I dare say that such words spoken makes the wait enjoyable! (Our relationship is long distance.)
But it goes beyond even that. This summer I am the director of the summer camp at the rec center, which starts Monday. In preparation, there has been nothing but unrest, causing a multitude of people to freak out a bit. The only thing to keep us steady has been the encouragement spoken between me and my support staff. It keeps people calm and reassured because they know that we’re all in the same boat but still smiling and being positive throughout all of the negative stuff going on around us.
And to add things on top of the craziness, one of my co-workers lost her best friend a week ago. She’s surviving work due to the support system we gave her. Even at one of our trainings, I could tell she was about to break down, so I walked up to her and gave her a hug so that she could cry without being seen by others. She thanked me for that. It was a simple as allowing for her to cry in public without being seen! Such a small act is huge for someone in need of it!
The word encouragement means to support someone, provide confidence, or give hope to someone. And something as little as saying a kind word or smiling through a tough time is sometimes all the people around us need. It’s amazing to me to see how many people felt so touched and connected to someone by a simple smile or kind word given to them in a tough time.
Our influence is far greater than what we give it credit for. We need to acknowledge that others around us are less likely to have a hope in Jesus, and it’s our duty to show them such a hope. Say a kind word to someone going through a rough time. Give them a hug, smile at them. These actions will help so many people!
p.s. back off he’s mine!