Call It What It Is!

By Amanda Whaley

I recently shared with a friend that I was experiencing a lot of anxiety. Instead of commiserating with me, she lovingly suggested that I repent of my fear and anxiety. At first, I was indignant. “What do you mean repent? My fear and anxiety was caused by other people’s cruelty or lies or abandonment. How am I responsible for that?”

I left that moment indignant and then perplexed because her words resonated with me on some level. As a few days went by, verses started popping into my head about anxiety.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. I Peter 5:6-8

And Jesus’ own words:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Matthew 6:25

“Well, that’s all pretty clear. Maybe asking Him to just take away my anxiety isn’t the best approach.” I began to see that anxiety was something I had put on like an identity cloak and that by coming into agreement with it, I was in disobedience. I was chaining myself to the very thing I wanted to be free from.  With these simple revelations, I experienced brokenness and quickly repented of that sin. Then I started thinking, “What else is sin in my life that I call something else?”  After asking God to show me, He commenced revealing area after area that I was hanging onto and diminishing in my mind with blame or avoidance. As I proceeded to calling each sin what it is, I experienced new levels of freedom and life!

For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10