Proverbs 12:25

Proverbs 12:25 "Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad."
Proverbs 12:25 Bible Church East Aurora NY
The human heart is where all the action of the soul takes place.  If the soul could be likened unto a house, then the heart would be the living room with emotions, feelings, desires and cares coming and going all day every day.  How we manage the living rooms of the souls will determine what our lives will look like.  If we allow unhealthy emotions to stay in our hearts, our lives will reflect that decision.  If we allow selfish feelings to hang out on the couches of our souls, our lives will reflect that selfish presence.  If we welcome evil desires in the living rooms of our souls, the rest of our souls are going to be influenced by that evil presence.  The CARES of life are no different.  They knock on the doors of our hearts on a regular basis.  There isn’t a security system that can keep them away.  There isn’t a fence big enough to prevent them from getting to the doorways of our souls.  There isn’t a dog fierce enough to scare away the cares of this life from knocking on the doors of our hearts.  In fact, they seem to have a key to the front door because we often wake with them sitting in the La-Z-Boys of our hearts.  Day and night, they seem to show up without warning.  Concerns for our children, for our finances, for our marriage, for our careers and for our future seem to find access into our hearts with ease.  Loss of loved ones or loss of friendships and relationships seem impossible to get off the couch and out the door.  Overwhelming stress and perpetual disappointment in people can be just as stubborn when shown the door.  There is a very subtle danger in allowing the cares of this life to occupy our hearts for any substantial length of time.

HEAVINESS, as Solomon calls it, is the name of this visitor.  Heaviness is an unavoidable guest in the heart of man.  Some are better at showing it the door than others but all of us entertain it for a while.  Jesus Christ Himself entertained heaviness for a brief time while in the Garden of Gethsemane on the eve of His crucifixion. Mark 14:33-34 tells us that Jesus “began to be sore amazed, and to be VERY HEAVY; and saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death.”  With that in mind, there is actually a time and place for us to entertain it according to James.  When addressing some believers who had gotten too comfortable in this world, James told them that they needed a little heaviness in their lives as they were void of spiritual sobriety and gravity (James 4:9).  Overall, heaviness is an unavoidable guest that can be beneficial but only when it stands at the door and isn’t allowed to sit on the couch.  Heaviness can bring perspective but if it gets comfortable, it will bring damage.

Heaviness, as its name implies, is hard to move.  When heaviness gets comfortable on the couch of our souls, it demands we do everything for it.  “Get me a drink.  While you’re up, get me a bag of chips.  When you come back, rub my feet.”  For some strange reason, we do it!  When we allow heaviness to stay in our hearts for any length of time, it takes over our home.  When we allow heaviness to stay in our hearts for any length of time, it so easily dominates our lives.  It does something to us – it changes us.  According to Solomon, it “MAKES” our hearts “stoop.”  This implies that heaviness isn’t suggestive – it’s demanding.  When heaviness gets comfortable in our hearts, it changes the shape of our heart; it changes the posture of our heart.  This is the danger of entertaining heaviness.

According to the word of God in this proverb, a heavy heart is a stooping heart.  A stooping heart is a downward leaning heart.  Stooping is used to describe the posture of the elderly in 2 Chronicles 36.  John used the word to describe Jesus when bending down to write in the sand when addressing the accusers of the adulterous woman in John 8.  The imagery of this proverb is beautifully insightful, which is ultimately how we see the danger in heaviness.  By using the word, “stooping,” Solomon wants us to see what heaviness does to the heart – it takes away its UPRIGHT posture.  A heavy heart can be an upright heart, as was the case with Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.  A stooping heart however, can not be an upright heart.  If heaviness in the heart eventually makes that heart a stooping heart, heaviness is dangerous.  
 
Heaviness isn’t sinful but if it’s not dealt with in a timely fashion, it will “MAKE a heart STOOP.”  Heaviness is a natural phenomenon for the human heart but if it’s not dealt with properly, it will take an upright heart and “MAKE” it unholy, impure and froward.  This is why it’s not uncommon for grieving souls to get bitter with God.  This is why it’s not uncommon for people who are going through heavy burdens in life to get nasty with the people in their lives.  Over time, heaviness has a way of making a good man’s heart the same as a bad man’s heart.  If we allow heaviness to stay on the couches of our souls, it will remove all of the virtue in our hearts and make us miserable, bitter, cynical, deceitful and selfish people.  If we give heaviness a chair in our hearts, it will take our upright heart and bend it downward so that all we see is horizontal instead of vertical.  Heaviness is dangerous.

Fortunately for us, this proverb shows us how to remove heaviness from the living rooms of our souls!  Heaviness is vulnerable to one particular thing.  There is a scent in our homes that heaviness can’t stand.  There is a candle that we can burn that will make heaviness uncomfortable.  It is the sound and scent of “good words.”  Solomon tells us by inspiration of God that GOOD WORDS make the heart of man GLAD.  If good words chase heaviness out of our hearts, then good words help keep our hearts upright.  This then underscores the importance of putting good words in our hearts on a regular basis.  Watching the news isn’t wrong by any means but it certainly won’t bring heaviness out of our hearts.  In fact, it will only make heaviness more comfortable.  Listening to gossip about a brother or sister in the Lord won’t escort heaviness out of our hearts.  Listening to gossip will only make heaviness feel more at home.  Listening to conspiracy theories online won’t do anything to help kick heaviness out of our hearts.  Entertaining complaints and accusations about friends and family won’t do anything to get heaviness out the door.  According to this proverb, listening to bad words of any sort from any source only makes heaviness heavier which then all but guarantees the stooping of one’s heart.

Not only does this Scripture warn of the dangers of heaviness – it draws our attention to the remedy for this unavoidable guest.  There is no greater source of GOOD WORDS than the words of God found in the sixty-six books of the Holy Bible!  When going through grief, there is no greater help to your heavy heart than the pages of Scripture.  When heavy burdened by life, there is no greater necessity than the pages of Scripture.  When overwhelmed by loss or by stress, flood your heart with the good words of God’s word so as remove heaviness from your heart.  Heaviness itself will discourage you from lighting the candle of God’s word – it will convince you that you’re just “not in the mood.”  Heaviness will tell you that you’re too tired.  Little by little, day after day, heaviness will keep you from the good words that it hates and as a result, MAKE your heart STOOP.  When you flood your heart with Bible, those good words will kick out the spirit of heaviness and replace it with a far better influence in the living room of your soul – GLADNESS.

Heaviness may be unavoidable and natural but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy and sustainable.  Heaviness is dangerous.  Light the candle of God’s word in your heart each morning so that it becomes a place of gladness in order to become and remain UPRIGHT.

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