• Our GPS for Anxiety

    Posted on November 3rd, 2009 bob.kellemen No comments

    The Anatomy of Anxiety, Part 9:

    God’s Prescription for Victory Over Anxiety


    Note: For previous posts in this blog mini-series, please visit: Part 1: http://bit.ly/aHstk, Part 2:  http://bit.ly/20R01P, Part 3: http://bit.ly/HAoxI, Part 4: http://bit.ly/1I6XmF, Part 5: http://bit.ly/19Jdqt, Part 6: http://bit.ly/19vCXx, Part 7: http://bit.ly/21wPLg, Part 8: http://bit.ly/m50On.


    Does worry, doubt, or fear get the best of you sometimes? Do you wonder where anxiety comes from and how to defeat it in your life and the lives of those you love? Then we need a biblical anatomy of anxiety. And, we need God’s prescription for victory over anxiety.


    God’s Prescription


    In parts 1-8, we’ve been good medical students of the soul. Here’s a one paragraph summary of what we’ve learned.


    Anxiety is the fallen counterpart to God’s original design for the soul. God created us with vigilance—the ability to respond to threat with creative energy that protects others and depends upon God’s protection. Anxiety is our fear response (stuck vigilance) to threat with destructive energy that protects self through flight and/or fight behavior that fails to depend upon God or protect others.


    God’s Care and Cure: Our GPS


    How do we respond to destructive anxiety? How do we minister to someone battling stuck vigilance that seems to leave them in a perpetual state of alarm?


    Ultimately, the “cure” for anxiety involves embracing the reality that God is dependable even when life is undependable.


    However, in helping others, we can’t rush in with our answers until we’ve patiently heard their questions. We must enter souls before we direct souls. We must express God’s care before we offer God’s cure.


    What’s involved in that? Today I share an overview. Consider it our GPS: God’s Principles from Scripture.


    GPS # 1: Empathy—“It’s Terrifying to Experience Anxiety”


    It means compassionately identify with people experiencing overwhelming fear. Can you sense how frightening it is to experience anxiety? Can you empathize with and embrace your spiritual friend’s trembling body and anxious heart?


    We’ll learn how together.


    GPS # 2: Encouragement—“It’s Possible to Experience Peace Even When You Feel Worried”


    Over the course of several blog posts we’ll interact about the empathy process. Of course, we don’t want to stop there. People do want to change. They do want peace.


    So we’ll also explore how to move from anxiety to shalom—peace in a frightening, fallen world.


    Having embraced our spiritual friend through empathy, we’ll learn how to encourage one another to embrace Christ. What difference does it make that Christ never leaves us or forsakes us?


    We’ll find out.


    GPS # 3: Exposure—“It’s Horrible to Self-Protect”


    If you watch the show “Monk” then you know that Detective Adrian Monk struggles with OCD and a multitude of phobias. He has a very sweet assistant, Natalie. As much as I love the show and like the character Monk, it drives me crazy the way he mistreats Natalie by only thinking of himself. Monk’s friends and therapist enable him (in the bad sense of that word) by never or rarely confronting him with the self-centered side of his anxiety.


    Yes, we need to empathize and encourage.


    However, since anxiety includes self-protection rather than trusting God’s protection and protecting others, we also need to expose sinful self-protection. And, we need to expose God’s forgiving grace and His accepting heart.


    We’ll learn how.


    GPS # 4—Empowerment—“It’s Supernatural to Trust and Defend”


    Every once in awhile Detective Adrian Monk does something brave, something that protects Natalie or his other friends and co-workers. It seems almost miraculous. And, really it is. It is not natural for any of us to care about others. It is supernatural.


    How does someone who is terrified of life begin to trust God and defend others? How do they, how do we, tap into Christ’s resurrection power to overpower fear with faith, hope, love, and peace?


    Stick with us as we’ll learn how.


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