Hey there! In case you haven’t met me yet, I’m Nichole Stern and it’s my pleasure to be your study leader for the rest of this week.
Goodness. It usually takes a chapter or two before words start jumping off the page at me, but this book? I started highlighting on page three. It’s just that good.
While preparing for our study, I googled the word anxious and found the word’s origin interesting. The word anxiety is derived from the Latin word angere, which means “to choke.”
Ahem. Do you see the irony here? The root word for an emotion that can make us feel like we’re choking actually means “to choke”?! You can’t make this stuff up.
For many of us who experience anxiety, this and other physical symptoms are familiar. And perhaps just as familiar are the feelings of guilt we have about our anxiety. Like Max Lucado says in Chapter 1 of Anxious for Nothing:
“We have been taught that the Christian life is a life of peace and when we don’t have peace, we assume the problem lies within us. Not only do we feel anxious, but we also feel guilty about our anxiety. The result is a downward spiral of worry, guilt, worry, guilt.”
We’re so hard on ourselves, aren’t we? We beat ourselves up about feeling anxious and we believe the common misconception that anxiety is a sin. I know I’ve believed this lie. So, when I read this quote from #AnxiousForNothing, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders:
“Anxiety is not a sin; it is an emotion.”
Whew! Let’s take a minute to allow this to sink in ...
We don’t have to feel guilty about feeling anxious. We can recognize we’re feeling anxious, and understand it can lead us to sin when left unchecked, but when we filter our anxious thoughts through the Truth of God’s Word, we can trade our anxiety for peace. Or as our verse this week, Philippians 4:6a, reminds us:
“Be anxious for nothing.”
If this seems impossible, you’re signed up for the right #P31OBS! Over the next few weeks, we’re going to learn how to exchange our burdens for God’s peace and find calm in the midst of chaos ... together!
I’m grateful to be walking beside you and I’ll be cheering you on the whole way!
Reflect & Respond:
What anxious thoughts can you exchange for God’s peace today?You’re Invited!
- Anyone who’s suffered or is currently struggling with anxiety, join us for Session 1 of our optional, four-part Be Still and Know Teaching Series. You can learn more and purchase the series here.