Anxiety in the heart (Month of Proverbs)

anxious
Image by Martino’s doodles via Flickr

Anxiety in a man’s heart depresses it,
but a kindly word makes it glad.
(Proverbs 12:25)

Although Solomon himself was immensely wealthy, the people of his day had plenty of cause for anxiety.  They had undergone years of war under King David, including a civil war when Absolom turned against him.  Their livelihood depended on the crops, and weather was variable.  And Solomon himself, as king, taxed the people heavily for the construction of the temple.  Along with the troubles of everyday life – hoping the children grow up well, maintaining a strong marriage, and all the rest – there was plenty to worry about.  Who would not be anxious?

Who, by worrying, can change… Concern about troubling situations, activity to prevent bad outcomes, planning and forethought – all these are helpful.  When Solomon speaks of anxiety, though, I think he means the kind of useless worrying about which Jesus said, “Which of you, by worrying, can add a cubit to his stature?”  (Matthew 6:27).  Anxiety when there is nothing to do simply weighs down the heart.

But telling someone to stop worrying does not help! It takes a kind word – understanding the concern but turning away from worrying alongside the troubled person – to relieve the sorrow and raise the spirits.

According to his good sense a man is praised,
but one with a warped mind is despised.
(Proverbs 12:8)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

About Sister Edith

Benedictine sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota, serving in vocation and oblate ministry. Also a social scientist, reader, lover of nature and travel, and dabbler in many things. +UIOGD
This entry was posted in Spiritual Reflections and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are welcome and moderated

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s