We’re All Freaking Out (And Why We Don’t Need To)
DAY 2 OF 5
The Fog Machine of Fear
I read once that a dense fog large enough to cover seven city blocks a hundred feet deep is made up of just one glass of water expanded into millions and millions of droplets.
In the same way, the object of our anxiety is always smaller than the size it grows to in our thoughts. Anxiety operates in our minds like a fog machine with a glass of water, expanding and stretching our fear-filled thoughts as far as we will allow it.
A thought so small as I am not sure where I am going to live after my roommate moves out enters the “fog machine of fear” in our minds and gets stretched way out of proportion, with us ending up in a panic about being homeless.
But what if we could see our anxiety as a glass of water rather than the giant fog? Dealing with it would become much easier. The good news is, you can.
Immediately after saying not to be anxious about anything but to pray about everything in Philippians 4:6, Paul writes in 4:8,
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Remember, the biblical definition of being anxious is meditating on fearful thoughts. Paul encourages us not to meditate on those thoughts but to meditate on these thoughts. We don’t just stop thinking about the wrong things; we start thinking about the right ones.
Now, before you dismiss Paul’s teaching as too good to be true, you should know he is recommending the same thing that psychologists today have people do. One of psychology’s relatively recent developments is called cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. To state it simply, the goal of CBT is to address and replace thoughts that lead to anxious feelings that lead to unhealthy behavior. Psychologists have just caught up with what Paul wrote two thousand years ago!
If you fix your mind, you will fix your life. Or as it says in Proverbs, “As he thinks within himself, so he is” (Proverbs 23:7). You are what you think.
What relationships or sources of information, entertainment, or social media fuel toxic thinking in your life? What is one thing you could do right now to replace some of that negative input with God’s truth?
About this Plan
At least 366 times, the Bible tells us not to be anxious. But do those commandments really count in the wake of a pandemic, financial struggles, relational brokenness, or middle-of-the-night fears that seem beyond our co...
We would like to thank WaterBrook Multnomah for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/669180/were-all-freaking-out-and-why-we-dont-need-to-by-david-marvin/
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