“Put on the helmet of salvation.” -Ephesians 6:17a
We all battle worry; some of us just battle it to a greater degree than others. Worry is one of the great – and unfortunate – unifying factors of humanity.
For me, there isn’t a day that goes by without it. When I tell people this, they inevitably ask what it is that I worry about. Everything. Nothing. For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt apprehensive about life. It’s rare that I am simply in the moment and enjoying. Contingency plans and “what if’s…?” are always getting the way. It’s quite the battle to shove them aside, a battle that I’m not yet successful at winning.
A few years ago, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This means that the chemicals in my brain don’t work right and so I’m always being pushed toward “fight or flight.” (In my case, it’s flight, unless that flight actually involves being on plane). At one point the imbalance of chemicals, neurotransmitters and whatever else was so bad that I was constantly scoring in the mid-to-high 90s on the Burns Anxiety Inventory.
Such a score is categorized as Extreme Anxiety or Panic.
Sorting Through the Lies
Thankfully and to the everlasting glory of His name, the Lord directed me to a wonderful Christian therapist who helped me get a handle on things. One of the greatest things she taught me was to think about what I think about. She gave me worksheets that forced me to identify exactly what was going through my mind, if the thought was rational or irrational, and if it was based in the truth of God’s word.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many things were totally irrational or flat-out lies.
When I read what Paul wrote about the helmet of salvation in Ephesians 6:10-18, I am reminded of this need to examine my thoughts. What Jesus did for me and who I am in Him has to be filter through which I put everything, and I do mean everything. It’s going to take me the rest of my life to unlearn the lies and learn what’s true.
I have a hunch that’s true for you, too.
Thinking About What We Think About
Satan, the father of lies and therefore the father of worry (John 8:44), screams at us, and we’ve been listening for far too long. I encourage you today to take the time to think about what you think about. Imagine that you have a colander in your hands, and that colander is Jesus. Put your thoughts in. Are they true? Are they right? Most importantly, what does God say about them? Watch as whatever isn’t Jesus flows out of the holes and into the garbage.
That’s where all the worry belongs!
“Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” – Philippians 4:8