Conversations at our house tend to follow a pattern. We make a plan, and my husband assumes that all will be well. That’s my cue to begin thinking about the details and coming up with at least five things that could (and probably will) go wrong. I’ve been honing my catastrophizing skills for over a half-century now, so I’m pretty good at it. (Not to brag…) However, I’m learning to practice a mental reset that is both biblical and practical.
Anxiety preaches a false gospel, telling you everything depends on you, that you need to practice worst-case-scenario planning. Understand this: things can go wrong. But they can also go right! And even when they do go wrong, if we believe in a sovereign and benevolent Presence behind every single circumstance in our life, it’s time to look for the goodness in the unexpected. It’s time to start looking for the mental reset button.
Even when things go wrong, our belief in a sovereign and benevolent Presence behind every circumstance sends us looking for the mental reset button: “Set your mind on things above…”Tweet
The Mental Reset
As a grace-dependent woman, I’m not a proponent of Operation Bootstrap, and neither was the Apostle Paul (See his words affirming, “I am what I am by the grace of God” in 1 Corinthians 15:10.) Even so, he directs his friends in Colossae to take a firm hand with their thought life:
Set your mind on things above…Colossians 3:2
His argument is pretty strong, based as it is in our understanding that the resurrection changes everything. When Jesus rose from the dead, the first thing he did was to go into the store windows of life and change all the price tags. Suddenly “things above,” spiritual things, life with God, the glory of God are utterly valuable and desirable.
The calm, orderly, predictable, comfy life I would normally see as the highest good when I am my own boss and belong to myself is inconsistent with a mindset that values pesky people, inconvenient interruptions, unplanned and unforeseen circumstances, and change of any kind. A change in mindset frees me to value what God values.
Hit the Mental Reset Button
If anxiety has come home to roost at your place, remember Christ, “seated at the right hand of God,” as your mental reset button. That may mean carrying 3×5 cards with important scripture passages in your pocket or bag. It may be better to just go ahead and memorize Colossians 3:1-3 or Isaiah 26:3, and then ask God to help the Word to come alive in your heart.
Don’t worry about how long it takes you to memorize or even whether you’re doing it perfectly. The process itself is healing and strengthening, for as you run the sacred text through the tangled synapses of your anxious brain, truth will have an untangling effect.
Anxiety is spiritual warfare, and we have to fight it on every front, body, soul, and spirit. Rehearse true things about God, and if you’ve never heard the phrase “sword of the Spirit,” read up on the armor of God in Ephesians 6 as solid evidence that God knows we will struggle with all kinds of temptations and fears and has already made a way to protect us.
Truth is a powerful weapon and a gift from God!
Holding you in the light,
P.S. What Scripture verses can you recommend to serve as a mental reset button for reading friends here?
The calm, predictable life I long for is inconsistent with a mindset that values pesky people, interruptions, unplanned and unforeseen circumstances, and inconvenience of any kind. A change in mindset frees me to value what God values.Tweet
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