by Leigh Ann Dilley on October 02, 2023
Why is it that nearly every woman I know suffers from some form of anxiety or worry? Many studies say women worry more than men. Some studies suggest there could be an evolutionary component to worry, or a hormonal link, or perhaps there's a social component that push women to worry. But wait, aren't we as Christian women supposed to surrender all our anxieties to Jesus? (1 Peter 5:7) Why then, ladies, do we keep pulling them back like they are some kind of trophy?
It's important to note that both worry and anxiety can be real or perceived. Either way, the side effects of long-term anxiety are very real. Studies correlate medical problems with worry or anxiety such as sleeplessness, fear, loneliness, paranoia, digestive and nervous disorders, and even heart attacks. I'm not referring to the kind of anxiety created by a chemical imbalance or an organic brain issue that requires medication. I'm referring to the kind of anxiety that leads to monkey mind and every day worries.
Is worry a sin?
In Matthew 6:25, Jesus says, "Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life." When Jesus tells us not to do something and we do it anyway, it's a sin, right? Then why not deal with worry and anxiety the way we deal with every other sin?
Confessing sin begins with prayer, a conversation with God. Tell God what you worry about. He cares. Then tell Him what you think you need to fight the anxiety. Next, release the entire situation to God. Pray for God's will to be done. You may even need a physical action that helps you visualize giving your worries over to God. Dump all your concerns into His hands.
Anxiety and worries take up a lot of space in our hearts. Releasing concerns to God will leave holes. Ask God to fill the holes with the Holy Spirit. Finally, be still and listen for anything God may have for you. Listen for what God's will might be instead of your own.
From there...it's a choice! You can let go of the bad stuff or you can take it back again and live with it. Pray that your mind and your soul be renewed with living water so you don't even want to take your worries back. Living water constantly renews itself. It bubbles and flows in streams. Living water does not stand still. Neither should you be stuck in anxiety and worry.
Pray for God to strengthen, sustain, and comfort you. These are promises of God's — claim them!
With a renewed mind and renewed strength, refuse to take back anxieties after you have surrendered them by applying the fruit of the spirit, specifically self-control. Clarity of the mind is part of the renewal process and renewed strength that comes from Jesus that's required to leave your worries with God.
Stand firm in your decision to surrender and practice living in peace. The thing about practice is it increases your level of skill.
Repeat these steps as often as you need to until the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guards your heart and your mind as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)