The Bible is described as a sword. Often it is a weapon that is wielded in such a way as to cut people in half; rather than swing with precision, sometimes we just swing away.
It is common for us to experience anxiety or nervousness. Out comes the sword, anxiety is sin – because the Bible says “do not be anxious about anything.”
Is this verse intended to highlight the sinfulness of anxiety? Your experience has probably been the same as mine, telling someone or being told by someone to just stop being anxious – and that it is a sin – only creates more anxiety.
Like high blood pressure or physical pain, anxiety is a symptom. Impossible to stop by willing it to go away.
Ever advised someone with high blood pressure to just stop? How about a headache? But just like taking a pill to make the pain go away, our impulse is to stuff down anxiety and pretend it is not there without getting to the heart of the matter.
That sword of the Word that we carry with us is intended to reveal the heart. Anxiety is a heart issue. It is a symptom making us aware that we are off center. Living for something other than Christ or living through our own power.
After his warning not to be anxious about anything, Paul goes on to say that in everything, present your requests to God.
Go before God.
Be in His presence.
There is no anxiety before the throne.
Trust brings peace.
Perfect love casts out fear.
When living under our own power, making our own way, anxiety comes from realizing our limitations and dependence. More anxiety from seeking wholeness in things that will ultimately fall short.
It is a tough thing to remain connected to God during the difficult circumstances of life. It requires intentionality and space. But that is the source of lasting change.
Next time you they experience worry or anxiety (yours or somebody else’s), respond by getting to the heart. Seek to understand the disconnection and unmet expectations. The symptoms alert you to address the heart.
What other symptoms do you experience when your heart is not centered in Christ?