Preventing Anxiety with Right Thinking ~ blog
One of the reasons people often feel anxiety and depression is because what they allow themselves to think about. You might be focusing on what is happening around the world as we see conflict within our own government and that of the UK. There are serious demonstrations in Hong Kong and the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. Pile onto that the debate about global warming, the fact that there have been 255 mass shootings so far this year in the USA, and hurricane season has begun … we have plenty to worry about.
Yesterday, we looked at what the Bible tells us to do when we are feeling anxiety. We are to pray about all things and make our requests to God with thanksgiving. We need to trust Him and have faith despite our circumstances and make our requests with thanksgiving. Then we are told that the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
The best defense against feelings of anxiety is to guard your thoughts. What do you allow your mind to focus on? I get into my email inbox every day a list of the top 5 news stories in the world. This morning they were …
- Hurricane Dorian – thousands homeless and 5 dead so far.
- California boat fire killing 34 people.
- Brexit and the chaos in the UK and the EU.
- Walmart and they’re not allowing people to enter their stores with guns.
- A United Nations panel says the US, the UK, France, and Iran may be charged with war crimes.
Now that is some great news to start your day with, isn’t it??? And hold on we have yet to hear another tweet from our President or more Fake News.
My point is that just by going through our day if we are not making it a habit to focus our minds on God’s Word and good things, we might need an increase in our anxiety and depressions medications. There will be an underlying sense of turmoil happening all around you and then add to that the shame and guilt from sexual sin and we can be wound up as tight as a sex addict getting ready for a polygraph test.
Here is the deal with our thoughts and brain. Our minds are never entirely at rest. It is always thinking about something. However, another reality is that we cannot think of two thoughts at the same time. We can bounce back and forth on multiple things. Some people we call scatterbrained because they can only focus on one thing for a brief period of time before going to another thought
However, in normal circumstances, our minds work best when we can focus on one thing at a time and we stay focused on that until we are finished thinking it through. Leaving things unresolved and jumping to a new problem creates fear and anxiety.
Notice what we are told to do after we finish praying with thanksgiving about each issue we are facing …
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things … And the God of peace will be with you.”
This is our biblical prescription for maintaining our sanity in a world gone crazy. We need to;
- Focus on truth and not listen to the lies of our enemy or from our wrong thinking.
- Focus on things that are noble or honorable – read about good people doing good things – those who have brought good into our world and not evil.
- Focus on whatever is right or righteous which is rarely reported in our news.
- Focus on things that are pure – free from sin or glorifying evil.
- Focus on things that are lovely – things that are acceptable and pleasing.
- Focus on things of good repute – mostly found in books about good people succeeding.
- Focus on whatever is excellent in our world around us and in the Word
- Focus on whatever is worthy of praise – good things that you can share with others instead of gossip and evil.
We cannot always control what goes into our minds, but we choose what we think about. We cannot always control what we see, but we can control what we look at. There is nothing wrong with seeing a beautiful woman but to turn her into an object for our lusts is sin.
So, what should we do to put this verse into practice? First and foremost, we need to examine how we are spending our time and what are we allowing to have input into our thinking. Sure, you can watch another season of Game of Thrones, but you will be exposing yourself to violence, rape and all kinds of evil. We could spend hours playing mindless video games to entertain ourselves which will take up time and even decrease some temptations but is absolutely worthless in helping you with your thoughts.
I promise you that if you will memorize Philippians 4:6-8 and then put it into practice you will find His peace guarding your mind and your heart in Christ Jesus.