Anxiety is Another Name for Fear
More than once Jesus told His disciples, “Do not be afraid.” We indulge fear but the Lord never did. We indulge fear all the time. We’ve even created innocuous words for it, like “anxiety” or “worry” or “stress.” Why do we do that? Perhaps recognizing fear for what it is would force us to face an even bigger indulgence: our desire to control.
“Worry comes from trying to fix ourselves and trying to fix others and trying to fix the world—and we can’t.”
Martha Kilpatrick, Anxiety: It Is Finished
Is it not true that the more we try to control the people and situations in our lives, the more fear we let into our hearts? Deep down, even the most deluded person knows that he cannot control the world around him. And that makes him afraid.
Since the fall of Eden, the great drive of human nature is to be God. We want to rule, to control, to fix the world to our liking. But the more we grasp, the more we have to lose. And the more we have to lose, the clearer we see how powerless we are to rule or control or fix anything. It’s a frightening place to be.
Anxiety Isn’t Normal, We Just Think It Is
Martha Kilpatrick’s message, Anxiety: It Is Finished, brings the relationship between fear and control into the light. Too many of us have accepted as normal a life bowed under the weight of anxiety. We don’t know what it is to be free from fear, but that’s our heritage in Christ. In fact, it’s not just our heritage; it’s His command to us.
Anxiety: It Is Finished diagnoses fear and its connection with control. But more than that, Martha’s message provides a glimpse of true freedom, such as many of us have never known. The fearless church of Acts is meant to be a picture of the normal Christian life. If asked, would others describe you as fearless? Or would they say you were anxious and stressed? Not to worry, whatever your life may be right now, you aren’t stuck. There is healing and hope.
Let’s not settle for a life ruled by fear and an obsession with control! Freedom from fear is ours in the Life of Christ. All we have to do is receive it.
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