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Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.
Proverbs 12:25

When God created humans he said that it wasn’t good for them to be alone.
(Genesis 2:18)

The writer of Ecclesiastes said, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?” (Ec 4:9-11)

The writer of Hebrews encouraged new believers (many were suffering persecution) not to stop meeting with one another. In other words, beloved, don’t stop hanging out, having fellowship, encouraging each other both inside and outside of church, regardless of what you are going through.

Anxiety is an epidemic in the West. We know there are many reasons for this. Aside from genetic illness, there are studies that show that an over consumption of social media, media in general, poor diet, stress, lack of sleep, substance abuse, etc.. all contribute to anxiety. But all of the above are often a result of one issue: loneliness.

People eat poorly when they’re stressed or lonely. Eating poorly makes them feel terrible. Feeling terrible prevents them from wanting to get out or open their home to spend time with others. Isolation can lead to substance abuse. Or more consumption of media and social media.

Young people who have unlimited access to social media often struggle the most with anxiety and depression. Why? Because social media provides an illusion of relationship without the actual benefit of relationship. The enemy of our souls loves to keep people away from each other.

The terrible truth is we are lonely in the West. We don’t value and pursue community and fellowship like previous generations did. Perhaps it’s because we don’t know lack or want or appear to need each other as much. But God created us for fellowship—not just with him but with each other. My dad taught me that a Christian attitude should not be “Jesus and me” it should be, “I can’t get there without you.” Jesus cares about us individually, yes, he says the very hairs of our head are numbered. But he is returning for a of Body of believers. Not just individuals. He wants us to help each other in this life.

Jesus said, “love one another as I have loved you” and “by this everyone will know that you follow me by your love for one another:”

I believe one of the secrets to overcoming seasons of anxiety is to intentionally pursue healthy relationships. Find your people. If you feel alone, pray. Ask God to bring them to you. He will. He said he will provide all of our needs and one of our God given needs is community.

Today was a bit tough. A friend dropped off 2lbs of my favorite coffee and some wildflowers (my favorite) and I was so touched. She didn’t know that I ran out of coffee this morning but God did. He cares about the little things and will be faithful to speak to you through others if you will let him. (Her gesture was a reminder that if God cares enough to remember these little details he cares about the big stuff, too.)

Be a friend and accept friendship. It will bring some life to your weary soul because it’s how God made you to live.

Anxiety weighs down the heart but a cheerful word, or in this case, a bag of coffee and some wildflowers, cheers us up.

Stephanie Staples

Author Stephanie Staples

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