Monday, October 19, 2015

5 Ways to Combat Sinful Anxiety

There are two kinds of anxiety.  There’s the chemical imbalance kind; the kind that is medical, needs a doctor’s care and possibly some kind of medication.  I make no claims to know anything about that kind of anxiety, nor would I presume to tell someone who suffers from it what they should or should not do. The kind of anxiety I have is different.  It is the kind that worries about things I can’t change, fears failure, and dwells on “what ifs” that may never happen. This anxiety could be considered more or less serious, depending on how you look at it.  On the one hand, it is sin, and that makes it a grave problem. Jesus told us not to worry (Matthew 6:25-34), so when I do, I am disobeying him.  On the other hand, sin has a solution.  Not only has Jesus’s blood cleansed me, but the Bible has given me ways to deal with my irrational (and even rational) fears.  Here are some ways that we as women can handle our sinful anxieties before they become a snare to us.



  • Pray.  It sounds cliché. It is not.  Prayer is the single most powerful thing we can do to fight anxiety.  

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7.
So the next time you start to worry about your bank balance, pray. When you are starting a new job and have first day jitters, pray.  Even when you start imagining horrible things that may never happen, lay them at the feet of the Father.  He will give you peace, and it will guard your heart.


  • Let God be God; he’s good at it. Often I find that when anxiety rears its sinful head, I’m worried about something I can’t control anyway.  What I’m really doing is proving that I don’t trust the sovereign Lord of the universe to take care of me and mine, so I want to control everything myself. How ridiculous it sounds out loud!

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7


  • Keep busy. I don’t mean distract yourself with busy work, although that might work as a short term solution.  I mean keep busy with kingdom work. 

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34
Anxiety is often a self-focused emotion; when we are actively involved in giving to others, spreading the gospel, and loving our neighbor as ourselves (His kingdom and His righteousness), we don’t have time to be afraid. 


  • Renew your mind. This is both a short term and long term solution to fear and anxiety.  When you start to notice your thoughts tending toward the fearful, stop and recite Scripture to combat the negative thoughts. Of course, to do that, you need to have some Bible verses memorized. There are many Psalms that are not too long and are very comforting when you are afraid or anxious (23, 27, 56 to name a few). As a long term plan, I can state it no better than the Psalmist, 

How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You. Blessed are You, O LORD; Teach me Your statutes. With my lips I have told of All the ordinances of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways. I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word (Psalm 119:9-16).
To avoid the sin of anxiety and to rejoice and delight in God, the best thing we can do is meditate on his word on a regular basis.  



  • Keep good company. If you want to learn how to be less anxious, find some Christians who have lives free (or mostly so) of this sin, and learn from them.  

He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm (Proverbs 13:20).
Not only that, but good friends can help us when we are feeling anxious, down, or scared. 
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
Friends can pray for us, encourage us, and calm our fears. I have friends like that.  From my husband’s dry “Dear, you’re being ridiculous,” to Helene’s quick recall of Scriptures I need to hear, I have surrounded myself with friends who help me overcome anxiety.  

I know this is a short list of how to deal with the sinful anxiety you may be struggling with.  But each of these things is so powerful, that taken together, they can change your life.  They have changed mine.  Pray. Let God be God. Keep Busy. Renew Your Mind. Keep Good Company.


Melissa

12 comments:

  1. Hi Helene! I really like this post on anxiety! I love that you use Scripture to ground your points. Psalm 119 is one of my favorite chapters: Thanks for sharing. God Bless You:)

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    1. Thank you, Lisa. Our goal is to always stick to the word of God in our posts, although sometimes we do a better job than others! Psalm 119 is a wonderful chapter. Wouldn't it be a fun one to memorize? It might take 6 months or a year, but imagine how helpful it would be!

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  2. Very helpful and encouraging. I have battled anxiety for a long time, and it can be disheartening. I like what you said about it being self-focused often! So true! Thank-you for the great post!

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments! I'm glad this came across as encouraging instead of shaming!

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  3. Melissa, Your list may have been short, but it was extremely powerful and encouraging to this "self-professed worry wort"!

    I was especially convicted by your statement to "let God be God" when I am worrying about things I can't control anyway. So very true! I have gotten better about praying Psalm 138:8. "The Lord will accomplish what concerns me." It has given me much freedom in this area, but like your first point, my knee-jerk reaction isn't always prayer, it is worry. :-/

    Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. I had a college professor call me a worry wart once. It was...unpleasant. But he had a point! Thanks so much for pointing out Psalm 138:8. That looks like another whole Psalm that would be good for memorization!

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    2. Melissa, I will be featuring this blog post on my blog this Friday for my Feature Friday post.

      Please feel free to visit and grab my button. :-)

      Again, thanks for sharing such an encouraging post.

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  4. Hi Melissa. I found you via Tuesday Talk. I love this post! It resounds so much with me as I am a born worrier, but I have been trying to leave it all to the Lord in my morning prayers. I often find myself slipping, so I say a quick prayer and I can feel His peace. Have a good day!

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    1. Laurie, I'm glad you found us, and I'm glad this post was a blessing to you. Most of the time, I write what I need to hear; I'm a worrier too! Prayer does make such a difference. I hope you have a blessed day as well!

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  5. Some excellent advice here! Thank you for sharing with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

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  6. I have a friend who is battling anxiety (that sounds cliche but its true ;) ) and she has told me countless times that renewing her mind has been what has made the biggest difference for her. Great tips that are definitely spot on.

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  7. I think most of us girls were born worriers. The older I get the more I am trusting Him and putting that worry where it belongs - in His hands. Great post and truths.

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