After reading “R.S.V.P. - How to Accept the Protection of Peace,” come take some time of reflection to begin applying what has been introduced so far.
If you can’t take the 10-15 minutes right now to write out your answers - pin or bookmark this, and come back later. But if you do have time, grab a pen and keep reading...
You might not have all the answers to the following questions. No problem. Just take note of the questions you struggle to answer and aim to discover their answers throughout the week.
Alright, now ask yourself...
- “What is the #1 thing over which I most often worry?”
- “Why do I worry about that...what emotions hide underneath the anxiety?”
i.e. I'm not smart enough to earn more. I'm not wise enough to save more. I'm not disciplined enough to spend well. --- I might lose my job.
- Usually the answers to question #2 will land in one or two categories . . . or both: shame (I’m bad) or fear (something bad might happen). Which category do your answers fall under?
i.e. Both (the first three answers are under shame. The last one is under fear.)
Or would you put your answers under different categories? . . . if so name them here:
- “What recurring situation usually triggers these underlying feelings of shame and/or fear that lead to anxiety for me?”
i.e. When rent is due or when so-in-so asks about a purchase.
- “How do I usually respond (internally & externally) in those triggering situations?”
i.e. Defensive anger. Blame.
- “What is one thing I need to pray for next time I’m triggered (tempted) to be anxious?”
i.e. Financial provision. Patience. Humility. Change for the future - self-control in my spending and saving.
- “What is one thing I can be grateful for next time I’m triggered (tempted) to be anxious?”
i.e. All that I do have right now (the list could go on forever)...and even if this was all stolen and lost, no one could take away my eternal future. I have Jesus no matter what.
- “What is one foundational truth I need to remember and believe next time I’m triggered (tempted) to be anxious?”
i.e. The Lord is faithful to provide for my daily needs, even when I'm unfaithful to see it.
- “How can I plan to meditate on that one foundational truth to prepare for the next time I’m triggered?”
i.e. I will take some time before work in the morning to write down verses about God's provision to post on my dashboard and bathroom mirror. I can pray through the verses while I get ready and on my way to work.
We will add to our answers and refer back to these questions later in our series, so save what you have so far.
So now...how was this for you? Did you discover any new insights about yourself as you worked through this exercise? I'd love to hear about it. Comment below or send me an e-mail here.
Talk to you soon.
*Photo Credit Bhernandez. Stressed and Worried" at Flickr: http://bit.ly/1w2j8vf. Used with permission. Layer and text mine.