Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The Power of a Good Word

PROVERBS 12:25 – Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”

The story is told of an ancient philosopher named Xanthus. He was expecting some friends to dine with him. He ordered his servant to provide the best things the market could supply. The servant went to market and purchased tongues. These the cooks prepared and served with different sauces. Course after course was supplied, each consisting of tongue. “Did I not order you,” said Xanthus the philosopher barked in a violent passion, “to buy the best victuals the market afforded?” Aesop, the servant replied,“ And have I not obeyed your orders? Is there anything better than a tongue? Is not the tongue the bond of civil society, the organ of truth and reason, and the instrument of our praise and adoration?” Xanthus ordered him to go again to the market the next day and buy the worst things he could find. Aesop went, and again he purchased tongues, which the cook was ordered to serve as before. “What! tongues again?” exclaimed Xanthus. “Most certainly,” rejoined Aesop, “the tongue is surely the worst thing in the world. It is the instrument of all strife and contention, the inventor of lawsuits, and the source of division and wars: it is the organ of error, of lies, calumny and blasphemies.”

In today’s scripture is a “meal serving good tongue.” King Solomon instructs us to a ministry that is desperately needed in a world filled with worry and anxiety, even in Christ’s church–the ministry of encouragement by a good word.

As we read the Proverb, here is the picture. A man is bowed low feeling the weightiness of anxiety upon his heart and mind. It isn’t a stretch to picture someone being described with an anchor upon the spirit dragging the individual into the depths of discouragement or depression. Think about this in our own lives. Isn’t that what anxiety does? It weighs us down. Maybe even to the point we don’t want to leave our homes. And crowds? Forget it. Anxiety wants us to hide from everyone and everything. Yet, there is hope and it is found in King Solomon’s advice–a good word makes him glad.

Many downcast and anxious Christians have found deliverance from these paralyzing emotions by another believer reaching out with a good word of encouragement and none better than sharing the Word of God. We are told of the Lord and His Word – He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction (Psalm 107:20). We are privileged and responsible to share the Lord with one another and that through His Word. That is one of the chief purposes of the church and our ministry to one another. Are we? Are we in the Word of God enough individually so we may freely share it with other believers? The Lord sends out His Word for healing His people through His people. Let’s strive to be those instruments He may use. There is power in a good word and the greatest power is God’s Word. May we share it for the healing of those suffering from the beast of anxiety!

PRAYER: “Father, help me to use my tongue for good. Allow my speech to offer healing words to the hurting.”

QUOTE: “Our tongue is either a weapon for harm or an instrument of good. And we choose which it will be.”

Because of Him,

Pastor Jim