Fear, Worry, and Anxiety
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."1
Imagine yourself in a wide-open field being chased by a tiger. Your brain gets the message and your adrenal gland starts pumping furiously, preparing you for instant flight. You run for your life. While you are breaking the world record for five hundred meters, you burn up all that excess adrenalin.
But what happens if you're living all the time in a state of fear, worry, or anxiety? You become stressed out. This upsets the chemical balance in your body which, in turn, eventually causes you to pay for it through some kind of sickness or a physical breakdown. Stress is a killer. We need to learn how to keep it under control. To do this the following five "positive don'ts" will help:
1. Don't ignore your well-being. Discipline yourself to live a well-balanced life. Be sure to see the "Balanced Life" wheel and article at: http://www.actsweb.org/balanced.php.
2. Don't bottle up (repress) your feelings. Learn how to share them with a trusted friend. And remember when it comes to negative emotions, what we fail to talk out creatively, we end up acting out destructively in one way or another.
3. Don't ignore your physical health. Follow a healthy and well-balanced diet, and be sure to get plenty of vigorous physical exercise which, among many other benefits, helps burn up excess adrenalin.
4. Don't ignore your social needs. We were created to be in relationships with others. Remember, too, when Jesus was on earth, almost all of his ministry was in relationship with the twelve disciples. And with three of these, Peter, James and John, he had a close relationship, as he did with his friends, Mary and Martha.
5. Don't ignore your spiritual life. Learn to trust God with every area of your life, and live in harmony with God's will and follow Christ's example: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."2 That is, when on earth Jesus developed intellectually, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. A very healthy example and model to follow.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to trust my life and way to you every day, and be sure to get all of my legitimate needs met in healthy ways, so that I will always resolve every problem in my life, and experience your peace no matter in what circumstances I find myself. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT).
2. Luke 2:52 (NIV).