If there was one thing we'll all do this week (besides open presents, eat lots of food and spend time with family), it will be to…
I recently wrote about the sin of anxiety. Yes, I did call it a sin. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us we shouldn’t be anxious about anything. Rather, the peace of God should guard our hearts and minds. But, anxiety isn’t something we can simply turn off with a little willpower (wouldn’t it be nice if we could?!). Instead, anxiety is a sin that stems from messy heart issues. And for that reason, it takes a real fight to squash the anxiousness that wells up within us.
So today, I bring you 5 ways you can start that fight.
#1 Call anxiety what it is.
If we allow ourselves to think anxiety is just a small nuisance in life, we will not fight it as we should. When we sense anxiousness coming on (which could come in the form of worry, fear, nervous concern for the future, lack of trust in God, etc.), we must remind ourselves that staying in that state is sin. God expects us to trust in him instead of giving in to anxiety.
Not only that, but various types of sin are usually the instigator for our sinful anxiety (You’ll have to read last week’s post if you aren’t sure what sin is behind your already-sinful-anxiety). But suffice it to say, we need to treat anxiety like it’s worth fighting.
#2 Realize anxiety does no good.
Sometimes we are so worried about something happening (or not happening) that we feel we need to be anxious—almost as if our worry will cause things to happen in our favor. But in reality, nothing good comes from worrying.
Walk yourself through your reasons for anxiety….can you really convince yourself that being anxious helps anything? Or could you be a lot more calm and godly if you chose to trust in God instead? Nothing good comes from worrying. Click To Tweet
#3 Study the truth.
God’s word certainly helps us fight anxiety. The trick is figuring out the cause of your anxious heart. If you realize people’s approval is what drives your anxiety, study what God’s word says about the approval of man. If you recognize your anxiety is due to a desire to maintain control, do a study on who’s really in control. If you know worry or fear fuel your anxiety, study up on God sovereignty and love.
Learn how God’s word informs the issues that drive your anxiety.
#4 Give yourself a pep talk.
Usually we know what triggers our anxiety. So next time, beat your anxiety to the punch! Before you even have a chance to get anxious, remind yourself that worrying won’t help. Remind yourself of truth as it relates to your reasons for being anxious. Remind yourself that God takes lack of trust seriously, and so should you. Give yourself a pep talk!
#5 Pray God will help you.
1 Peter 5:7 tell us we should cast all our anxieties on God because he cares for us. And that is the most important thing we need to do with our anxiety – give it to the Lord!
Know that God cares for you, and he wants to help you! God may not instantly take away all anxiousness, but he can help you walk through it with full trust in him. He can help you make strides towards the “peace of God” guarding your heart and mind (Philippians 4:7).
None of this is rocket science, but it does require a massive amount of effort and self-control. When anxious feelings sweep in, it can take everything we have to talk ourselves off the ledge of anxiety. But it’s worth it.
It’s always worth fighting sin; but it’s also worth it because anxiety does absolutely nothing good for us (no one likes feeling anxious!). And it’s worth it because handling anxiety right forces us to live according to the truth in God’s word. Furthermore, it causes us to rely on God and trust in him.
So next time anxiety creeps up on you, don’t let it take you down — fight it!