by Neil Anderson
LIMITING ANXIOUS FEELINGS
1 Peter 5:7 NIV
Cast all your anxiety on Him [God] because He cares for you
Let's assume you have sought God's will for a certain direction, and you believe that He has led you to make specific plans. The problem is you are still worried about whether your plans will come about as you have hoped. When I'm facing such situations, I try to follow the six steps described below to limit my anxious feelings.
First, state the problem . A problem well stated is half solved. In anxious states of mind, people can't see the forest for the trees. Put the problem in perspective. Will it matter for eternity? The danger at this juncture is to seek ungodly counsel. The world is glutted with magicians and sorcerers who will promise incredible results. Their appearance may be striking. Their personality may be charming. But they are bankrupt of character. Avoid them (Psalm 1:1).
Second, separate the facts from the assumptions . Since we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, we make assumptions, and we usually assume the worst. If the assumption is accepted as truth, it will drive your mind to its anxiety limits. Therefore, you must separate assumptions from facts.
Third, determine what you have the right or ability to control . You are responsible for that which you can control, and you are not responsible for that which you can't. Don't try to cast your responsibility onto Christ; He will throw it back.
Fourth, list everything you can do which is related to the situation that is under your responsibility . When people don't assume their responsibility, they turn to temporary cures for their anxiety, like eating, TV, sex or drugs.
Fifth, once you are sure you have fulfilled your responsibility, see if there is any way you can help others . Turning your attention away from your own self-absorption and onto helping people around you is not only the loving thing to do, but it also brings a special inner peace.
Sixth, the rest is God's responsibility , except for your prayer, according to Philippians 4:6-8. So assume your responsibility, but cast your anxiety on Christ.
Prayer: Lord, help me recognize the difference between today's responsibilities and anxieties, then put them in their proper places.
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