Last week during a group discussion on panic/anxiety and the like; I read a specific portion from the book we’re studying on the power of the mind and how the thoughts we mull over pertain to our general outlook on life.
What I found the most helpful in this section was the authors’ statement that each of us has to learn to discipline our thoughts (take them captive) in such a way that we do not, ever, ever, ever, take on tomorrow’s responsibilities (burdens, worries, and fears) today.
For when we do start down that dismal road of “what if’s, what will I do, and what will happen if?” There’s no turning back (at least not without lots of concerted effort and back-tracking hard work.)
Read what famed theologian, C.H. Spurgeon preached to his congregation back in the 1800’s.
Many of God’s people are constantly under apprehensions of calamities which will never occur to them, and they suffer far more in merely dreading them than they would have to endure if they actually came upon them. In their imagination, there are rivers in their way, and they are anxious to know how they shall wade through them, or swim across them. There are no such rivers in existence, but they are agitated and distressed about them… They stab themselves with imaginary daggers, they starve themselves in imaginary famines, and even bury themselves in imaginary graves. Such strange creatures are we that we probably smart more under blows which never fall upon us than we do under those which do actually come. The rod of God does not smite us as sharply as the rod of our own imagination does; our groundless fears are our chief tormentors.
I don’t know if you can relate to this vivid description of self-imposed mental torment, but I sure do. Going back to our class discussion (and from what various people shared,) I’m not the only one.
Which is why I keep coming back to the this single statement found in Philippians 4, “Be anxious for nothing.”
And last time I looked, the definition of nothing means just that…nothing. Not worrying about 80% or 50% or even 99% of a problem…nothing means zero.
So what should we set our minds’ focus on?
“…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, what is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute…dwell on these things.”
I like that.
I will aim for that type of mindset because the alternative is, well, just plain scary.