January 12, 2017
25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
What is anxiety? Everyone knows what anxiety feels like, and many of us could identify what we are anxious about, but few could actually tell us what anxiety is.
Anxiety originates from the broken state of a person’s inner life and world which, left untreated, leads to disordered affections and ambitions. Anxiety, a condition we all have in common to a greater or lesser degree, comes from a perennial and sometimes pervasive sense of insecurity at the core of one’s being. Anxiety is so challenging because it isolates us from its antidote, which can only be found in healthy relationships with other people. Anxiety’s obvious manifestation is withdrawal from relationships. Its less obvious expression can be seen when people unhealthily enmesh themselves with others, also known as codependence.
Because we are all broken people, we all struggle with anxiety to a greater or lesser degree. Though not intended by God, anxiety has become a normed way of existing in the world. Note in chapters one through three in the Book of Genesis—anxiety does not arrive on the scene until deception, mistrust and disobedience appear. One more thing. Anxiety is highly contagious. It is curable but most of us opt instead to cope with it.
Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
There are a plethora of unhealthy ways we try to cover over our anxiety. People typically (and often unknowingly) self-medicate their anxiety through strategies of accumulation, achievement, anger, avoidance, abdication and addiction. (Somebody stop me! I’m addicted to alliteration! ;0) Anxiety typically goes in one of two directions: agression or apathy, both of which commonly present themselves through some dimension of depression.
There is a far more helpful and enduring way of dealing with anxiety. Check this out.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Note, this is not a simple trite prescription that says to just pray about it. This is all about a complete reorientation and renovation of one’s innermost self. The peace of God transcends. It actually breaks through the hard shell of anxiety and creates an alternative environment in our inner world. The environment is called the Peace of God. This is not a “Keep calm and carry on,” kind of peace but a supernatural peace, an unexplainable peace. This peace guards our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. Ironically, until our hearts and our minds are under the guard and watch-care of the Peace of God we are forced to guard them ourselves—which is where so much anxiety comes from in the first place.
I’ve just identified the “long-game” strategy. It takes time and avery intentional Holy Spirit empowered soul work. One more thing—it’s impossible to work through it alone. That’s why I’m always pointing you toward banding together with a couple of other souls.
In the meantime, we all carry around an every-day kind of antidote that can alleviate the anxiety of others. Your homework—go back, read the proverb again, and see if you can spot it.
Abba Father, because you are Peace, your Presence brings Peace. Jesus gave us his Peace and the Holy Spirit carries Peace to and fro all day long. I am anxious. Open up a new way in my soul that I might begin to lay down my anxiety and become a carrier of Peace. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.
1. Where does anxiety come from? Note– I’m not asking what is causing anxiety in any given moment, but where it comes from?
2. What would it look like if I began dealing with the root causes of anxiety in my life rather than trying to escape the symptoms of it?
3. How might we help one another to deal with our anxiety and not serve to escalate it?
Join the Daily Text Fasting Challenge here. Whenever you sign up, it will begin the following Tuesday.
J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.