No matter what it is, the fact remains that anxiety is a silent killer. It is the most common mental illness in the U.S. and it is linked to the six leading causes of death. Even more, about 80% of the things that we worry about never come to pass. I’d say that is a terrible waste of time, energy and health. Besides we have enough negativity in the world as it is.

In comparison, there is so much power in positive words. Positive thoughts alone have been proven to boost your health, build your skills, enhance your work and improve your relationships. We need to be better at encouraging one another, inspiring one another and enriching each other’s lives.

Although there doesn’t seem to be one common theme in Proverbs 12, the writer delivers a collection of important verses. Some of what this chapter speaks on is righteous versus wicked, proper vs improper behavior, appropriate vs inappropriate speech, accepting criticism, being happy with what you have and hard work. With all the wickedness in the world that we’ve seen lately it would seem fitting to discuss righteousness and love, and how they will always win because wickedness cannot last beyond this life.  But today I want to touch on one particular verse:

Worry weighs a person down;
an encouraging word cheers a person up.
— Proverbs 12:25

What worries are weighing you down? Perhaps the wickedness in this world? Or the uncertainty of what this world will look like when your children grow up? Could it be your health? Or Work? Bills or finances? How about your relationships? Or how about all those small, pointless concerns, fears and burdens that get our heart racing?

And if you want to start creating real value in your life and to those around you, seek God first. Dive into his word, and don’t just read…study it, practice it, live it. By doing this daily, everything good about God will flow through you. Worry and anxiety will lessen because God is in control of your life. Positive words and thoughts will become easier. You will be a light to others around you and bring smiles to their faces. And your efforts of positive influence and your genuine love for the Kingdom of God will last MUCH longer than a smile.

Lord, help us to not feel crushed by our own worries, fears and anxiety. Lift our minds and help us to see the truth. Calm us with your words and your love. And help us be a positive influence to those around us. We will cast our cares on you and trust your plan for our lives. We are so thankful for your sacrifice that allows us to live in your grace - forgiven and restored. Continue to guide us and make us the salt and light of the world. Amen.