Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
RAF: Anxiety is a complex issue. There are right and proper anxieties, in terms of genuine concerns over very real difficulties. And then there are anxieties which are unrealistic, and/or occupy an improper place within us.
When we are controlled by our anxieties, we’ve let them run away with us. They become the dictators of life decisions, rather than the great realities of our God on His throne and His ever present and unfailing promises. They occupy the “throne” of our hearts, rather than serving to bring us to prayer and to seek to rest in God’s love and care. One way to know if our anxieties have crossed over from legitimate and reasonable concerns – even abiding ones – to sinful and destructive is by how we respond to God’s Word on the subject. If we cannot be calmed by reminders of God’s goodness, His providential care, an underlying trust that He holds us and knows what is best, and we slip over into despair, we need not only to fight the anxiety itself, we need to repent. If a “good word”, a right and correct and properly fitting word from the Lord’s counsel does not ease our anxiety, then perhaps our problem isn’t anxiety – but something else. Maybe, it is unbelief.
Does this mean all of our cares and concerns will simply evaporate? Not at all. In such seasons, we might find the need to battle this attack on our trust in the Lord a thousand times a day. A thousand times an hour! But we seek to regain the control our anxiety tries to rob from us. We treat it not like a condition to be accepted or merely treated or anesthetized, but an enemy to be defeated.
Little is so debilitating as a heart weighed down with anxiety. And notice the focus here – the heart. In other words, the love and trust we ordinarily have in Christ, is displaced in this condition. It seeks to reign within us, to be what occupies us most. But it is a usurper of the peace and joy that is meant to be ours in Him – and we fight it like the interloper and assassin of faith it really is.
Fight beloved. Fight the good fight of faith. Don’t surrender the throne of your affections to this pretender to the crown of your life. Guard the door of your heart – and continually crown Christ the king of kings and Lord of Lords in your own heart and mind.
Proverbs 12:26 One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
RAF: Today, many would title this idea: “Lifestyle Evangelism”. The truth is BOTH, what we say AND what we do matters. We can never safely have one without the other.
When it comes to evangelism, some would lay more or all of the stress in our efforts of proclamation. And proclamation is absolutely essential. People must hear, understand and believe – the Gospel – the message.
Others would place the bulk of the stress upon lifestyle and the “what” of our lives.
But good actions are not the Gospel by themselves, the “message” of Christ’s atoning death is; and the Message negated by graceless lives is an exercise in futility. We are to be men and women of integrity – of life and message so wrapped around one another that they cannot be separated.
The bottom line is – if Jesus hadn’t lived in perfect holiness, He could not have been fit to be our Savior. And if the message of the meaning of His death were not proclaimed, there is no faith by which one is justified.
Neither one could be omitted without salvation being a myth. We are not meant to be mere signposts, we are guides. Guides go themselves, where they want others to go.