How to Deal with Anxiety
Philippians 4:6-7 : Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I am a little anxious right now. I am someone who goes at something 110%. I am very bad at moderation, as a leader I am a sprinter, I go like the wind; then at some point, exhausted, I rest and then up again running at full speed… This can be a good thing, I am very good at change, at getting things done quickly, I am good at setting up ministries, and I am able to get a lot done in a short period of time. But it can also mean I get too involved in things, I lose much needed balance in my life. And that is somewhat happening now with the amount of time I spend on Facebook. I am driven to tend to the pages I started on there, to build my friendships and connections, answer messages.
The greek for ‘anxious’ in Philippians 4 literally means to spend a lot of time worrying about something. So what can I do about my anxiety?
Prayer. Philippians 4 says, ‘but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’ And the greek for ‘prayer’ can mean a place you pray, a silent private place to pray. So this is the first help, not only do I need to make time for prayer, but I actually need to find a praying place, somewhere where prayer is promoted and comes easily. For me this is anywhere were I can get total silence.
And the Philippians reading then shares that once I pray the ‘peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ The ‘peace of God’ refers to receiving blessing, that good will happen to me. Or in my case, I will reduce my constant need to engage with Facebook. And then it talks about, ‘guard your hearts and minds’ and the greek behind ‘heart’ and ‘mind’ reveals the essence of my anxiety: heart refers to impulse, affection and desire and the mind is the intellect. I am aware of what I need to do on Facebook, and then I get an impulsive thought at 10pm, an idea to follow someone up and before I know it, it is 12am and I am still on Facebook. So in praying, in setting a certain time and place to pray, I will gain increased control over this impulse ‘heart’ urge. And the greek behind the word, “guard’ literally refers to military guarding, which takes discipline and precision.
So how do I deal with my anxiety? Well first up I need to discipline the amount of time I spend of Facebook to just twice a day, early morning to post my journey deeper and answer a few messages, and in the early evening. And after reading this Philippians passage I can see the need that as well as having a prayerful attitude throughout the whole day, that I should also have a structured prayer life, where I have set time each day to find that prayerful space and pray. I am going to start with first thing in the morning, and before I go to bed as a start.
And in fact I am going to discipline the amount of time I am online, have regular ‘unplugged days’ where I have no internet.. Did that last week and you know what? I thought a lot more. Away from my demanding monitor my brain started to think more freely!!
And through this I am certain that my heart and mind will be guarded in Christ Jesus! Praise you Lord for this amazing passage!
God bless ya,
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