Anx-i-et-y. Is it a sin, a medical disorder or a character flaw? How should Christians treat anxiety? All I know is anxiety is an unwelcome tormentor of epic and epidemic proportions and believers are not immune. If you are a Christian, somebody, somewhere, who doesn’t have a clue, told you to go to church, pray and read your Bible then Jesus will wave a magic wand and your anxiety will go poof into thin air.
Oh sweet friend I wish it were that simple.
Are Christians immune to anxiety?
Have a seat in exam room 1, the doctor will be with you shortly. Did you get your vaccination against anxiety and depression when you became a Christian? Huh? First of all, Christians aren’t immune to anything. Second, whoever says life gets easier when you follow Christ ought to read their Bible because that’s not what Jesus said.
The doctor is in
Treating anxiety is like sitting on a three-legged stool; remove a leg and you’re splattered on the floor. The first leg is the spiritual aspect, the second is emotional and the third is the physical component
Philippians 4:6, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.” MSG
I saw a counselor. Okay there, I said it. If you’re older than me, you’re probably worried I’m having serious mental issues. Those of you my age may believe it’s fine if that’s what I think need to do, but I shouldn’t tell it. Yeah, I don’t disagree. If you are younger than me, you think it’s about time.
Each session she asks my goals for counseling. Honestly, I just want a safe place to vent my feelings, assess my coping skills and keep my emotions in check. Weaning off steroids combined with menopause, a life-altering diagnosis and the fallout of living on this broken planet made me think it was a good idea to get a little feedback.
She tucks her legs underneath her and keeps a lap blanket handy. I’m overly conscious about my eyes because she studies them while she sucks from the red straw protruding from her Sonic cup. I guess she thinks I’m coping because she never schedules a follow-up appointment, but I go back anyway. I like her; we could be friends. Her voice is soothing and relaxed and she nonchalantly told me, “I think you are a reactor.”
Ya think? Like nuclear. On steroids. Literally.
She taught me I don’t have to say everything I’m thinking. Seriously, I had no idea words could stay put in my head because I thought every emotion had to escape in the form of words. Now, I walk around smiling at all the stuff I didn’t say.
Proverbs 17:28, “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.” NKJV
Maybe, maybe not, but talking helps me process my feelings. Writing is better because I can harness the emotion and edit the expression, though sometimes I have to wrestle my words to the ground. When I say what I believe out loud, the words out of my head come back to my ears as good advice. So how much do I owe you? You’re cheap therapy for me.I believe, therefore I speak #NotAnxious Click To Tweet
If you have past or present circumstances and need help sorting through issues, then see a counselor. Don’t hesitate to talk to someone you trust: a friend, a pastor, a doctor or a psychologist.
Proverbs 19:20, “Listen to counsel and receive instruction so that you may be wise later in life.” HCSB
Our brains are literally electricity and chemistry in delicate balance. Neurotransmitter deficiencies result in anxiety and depression. The cause may be situational, genetic or unexplainable. It’s science, not theology. Depression and anxiety plague Christians whose spiritual walks are on target even when life is smooth as a pond on a still day. Since joy is a fruit of the spirit, these symptoms often cause guilt. The good news is that a pure chemical imbalance usually responds quickly to non-addictive medications. By contrast, a life in shambles cannot be cured with any medication. Remember the stool needs three legs to stand.
The Bible gives us a clear example of using medication for healing, which applies to hypertension, diabetes, anxiety or any illness. Read the whole chapter for the back story, but the fig poultice was medicinal and cured Hezekiah’s deadly diagnosis.
2 Kings 20:7, “Then Isaiah said, ‘Prepare a poultice of figs.’ They did so and applied it to the boil and he recovered.” NIV
Could you please pass the fig poultice?
The cure for anxiety is not a single dose. The deeper the rut, the longer it takes to get out. We literally have to reprogram our brains, the sooner the better.
Anxiety is new to me, but then again my life unraveled. Upside down I could handle, but shredded is more of a challenge. I know the same God who saw me through my physical weakness will see me through my present darkness.Overcoming #anxiety Click To Tweet
Thanks for following this series on anxiety. I’d like to end by recommending a book, you know, I’m an advice pusher. Here’s a description from the author of Fear Fighters by Kelly Balarie,
I morphed from a fanatical ball of anxiety to a furious fighter of fear