The Power of a Kind Word
A heart bowed down with anxiety, how a kind word can refresh it!”—Proverbs 12:25, Knox.
CHRISTIANS are not immune to adversity. At times they experience anxiety because of living in these “critical times hard to deal with.”—2 Timothy 3:1.
When suffering such calamity, what a blessing it is to hear kind words from a loyal friend! “A true companion is loving all the time, and is a brother that is born for when there is distress,” says the Bible. (Proverbs 17:17) The faithful man Job was known for being this type of friend. Even Eliphaz said of him: “When someone stumbled, weak and tired, your words encouraged him to stand.”—Job 4:4, Today’s English Version.
However, when Job himself needed encouragement, Eliphaz and his companions did not utter kind words. They blamed Job for his adversity, implying that he must have had some secret fault. (Job 4:8) The Interpreter’s Bible comments: “What Job needs is the compassion of a human heart. What he gets is a series of absolutely ‘true’ and absolutely beautiful religious clichés and moral platitudes.” So distraught was Job at hearing the speech of Eliphaz and his companions that he was compelled to cry out: “How long will you men keep irritating my soul and keep crushing me with words?”—Job 19:2.
Never should we cause a fellow servant of God to cry out in distress because of our thoughtless, unkind words. (Compare Deuteronomy 24:15.) A Bible proverb warns: “What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words.”—Proverbs 18:21, TEV.
Recognizing the power of speech, let us follow the example of the apostle Paul. While in Macedonia, he was “encouraging the ones there with many a word.”—Acts 20:2.