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“When my anxiety is the elephant in the room, I find that Philippians 4:8-9 offers a much more helpful meditation.”
Read Part 5: A Prayer Reflecting on the Gospel
When counseling someone through anxiety (or trying to manage it yourself), it can be tempting to turn to your concordance, look up the word, and land smack in Philippians 4:6 with another back-breaking command: “Do not be anxious about anything…” But in my own struggle with anxiety, repeating to myself, “do not be anxious about anything...do not be anxious about anything...do not be anxious about anything” is a terrible mantra. When my anxiety is the elephant in the room, I find that verses 8-9 offer a much more helpful meditation. As you consider Paul’s words, challenge yourself to list three to five objects of thought for each line.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is just,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Lord, help me to practice this list in my mind and meditate on hope when I am tempted to spiral down the path of anxiety. Thank you that you promise to be with me, that you promise peace.
Read Part 7: A Prayer of Thanksgiving and Rejoicing
Meredith serves Cornerstone with the Women’s Ministry and as a Global Liaison.
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