A Christian Response To Worry and Related Issues.
by Nick Bishop
Worry, so the experts tell us, is a necessary evil to prepare us for future developments or situations, whatever they may be. It is likened to the fight or flight mechanism that is hardwired in humans when we were facing a sabre-toothed cat!
Worry, however, is still a very clear and present danger in today’s world. It can lead to depression and anxiety with all the mental and physical symptoms that entail. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 10% of the American population suffers from anxiety disorders, brought on by worry. In times gone by, worry that led to anxiety disorders was known as melancholia.
The common reasons why people worry today are a death of a loved one, loss of a job, increase in financial obligations, getting married, moving house, chronic illness, emotional problems, (defined as depression, anxiety, anger, grief, guilt, and low self-esteem).
We then have the physical symptoms which are muscle tension, physical weakness, poor memory, sweaty hands, fear, inability to relax, constant worry, shortness of breath, palpitations, upset stomach and poor concentration.
Even though we often consider ourselves to live in a more enlightened world when it comes to worrying and the reasons, symptoms and mental condition associated with it, there is still much ignorance out there and still much work to do.
Being a sufferer myself of anxiety and depression, the worst thing you can ever say to someone like that are things like, “Pull yourself together”, “Get a grip” or “Pull your finger out”. If only it were that simple! This attitude shows ignorance on the part of the person (though they may mean well) and they do not help the sufferer at all – in fact, it may make them worse.
I would certainly recommend you see your GP if you are encountering any of the above mentioned in this article.
As Christians, we have a duty of care to people suffering from worry and related issues. If you are in an understanding and listening church, you should be able to speak to Christian friends and your pastor. They may be able to point you in the direction of help – like Christian counselling and certainly, a positive word and prayer helps.
Finally, in the Bible, we have words of encouragement for example in the gospel of John: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me”. We also read in 1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he loves you”, and Philippians 4:6, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made to known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.
I will let these inspiring words from the Bible speak for themselves.
God bless you. x
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