Do you struggle with guilt and shame about your anxious thoughts? For Christians, guilt and shame often go hand-in-hand with anxiety struggles because we think, “I’m a Christian. I should be able to let go of worry!”
Let’s explore healthy ways to let go of the shame and release the guilt about worry, anxiety, and fear, and discover a new way to respond to anxiety triggers. In today’s episode, we’ll talk about why we get stuck in patterns of guilt and shame regarding worry and anxiety and how we can calm our lives and minimize anxiety triggers by creating an action plan using the Calm Your Anxiety Tool Kit.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
- [5:00] Are We Bad Christians If We Struggle with Worry? What Does the Bible Say?
- [5:00] Bible Verses on Worry + Anxiety
- [9:15] A New Way to Look At Anxiety Triggers and to Let Go of Worry
- [11:35] How Does Our Mind See Anxious Thoughts as a Benefit?
- [14:28] Struggling with Guilt Because of Worry? Create a Plan to Respond Differently to Anxiety Triggers
[4:16] Are We Bad Christians If We Struggle with Worry? What Does the Bible Say?
As Christians, many of us have subscribed to the myth that if we have worry or anxiety then we’re a bad Christian or something is wrong with us.
Although God doesn’t want us to have the behavior of worry and anxiety, He knows that we live in a scary world and therefore He understands why we can be triggered to anxiety and worry. Christ, Himself said we would be tempted to have worries and anxieties because of our dark world, so it isn’t something that we should be surprised by.
[5:00] Bible Verses on Worry + Anxiety
Let’s talk about common Bible verses on worry:
We hear these verses and we know that worrying doesn't necessarily help. Yet we still struggle with worry. What is that about?
When we hear these Bible verses on worry, we can feel condemnation instead of God’s gentle instruction. We can think, “Okay, here's just another opportunity for me to see that I'm falling short and I'm not what God wants me to be.”
[9:15] A New Way to Look At Anxiety Triggers and to Let Go of Worry
When we allow that stimulus of fear to turn into anxiety, it can easily manifest into guilt.
Psalm 38:4 shares about how that can easily happen.
We can be released from some of that condemnation by recognizing that it’s real without letting it lead us to feeling guilty.
However, fear is a normal response to the troubles of this life. It's normal to feel stressed. It's normal to see these things as a reason to worry, and to have anxiety. Jesus says we are going to have reasons to worry, but that we don’t have to choose worry as a behavioral response.
For example, what if we looked at these fearful triggers as God’s invitation to press into our faith more? We may not know how to respond, but we can show Him that we want to learn by leaning into surrender instead of clinging to our struggles.
[11:35] How Does Our Mind See Anxious Thoughts as a Benefit?
In order to find healing from anxious thought patterns and be released from the guilt around worry, we must understand why our minds hold on to worry as a benefit.
Sometimes we may feel like we are crazy for not being able to let things go, but it’s really a subconscious thing. Often times, we have cultivated these anxious thought patterns as coping mechanisms for life stressors or past trauma. Some of us are just psychologically geared toward being a bit more anxious and high strung in that way. Wherever the impetus was, if we've always responded to a fear or danger trigger with anxious thoughts, the chances are we've conditioned our mind to respond with anxiety or worry.
For many of us, worry is a learned behavior that we’ve practiced over and over as a response to fear. Worry has kept us safe by “dealing” with the issue. This is what the mind knows, and it doesn’t have any other patterns. So it makes sense that our brain would turn to this pattern when the anxiety triggers come.
The good news is that we don’t have to keep responding this way. We can choose our thoughts and create new thought patterns. We can choose to lean into God and begin to practice what it could be to have a different response to fear. If we continue to keep being anxious, and leaning on worry, then guilt and shame will continue to build into condemnation.
We can use anxious thoughts as an unhealthy behavioral pattern to manage our fears; or we can choose to allow the Spirit to transform our thoughts through new mindset patterns (Romans 12:2) so that we can respond in a way that frees us from anxiety and guilt. The choice is ours.
When we see the fear triggers as opportunities to grow in God, we can imagine Him saying, “Let me show you a different way. Let me free you up in this” because we’re continuing in the same pattern. God doesn’t want us to carry the weight of worry and guilt.
[14:28] Struggling with Guilt Because of Worry? Create a Plan to Respond Differently to Anxiety Triggers
We can't just tell ourselves to stop worrying. As we shared above, anxiety and worry are ingrained habits: when this stimulus happens, this is how we're going to respond. We must train our minds to respond differently to worry, fear, and anxiety.
We think the best way to get rid of anxiety is to eliminate the anxiety trigger itself. However, anxiety triggers are here to stay (remember, Jesus said they would be part of our world). The good news is that we get to take back control by understanding more about the fears behind our anxiety and how to find healthy ways to meet the needs present when anxiety strikes.
There is so much more to finding healing from anxiety (and from the guilt that comes from struggling with worry), and that’s why I created the Calm Your Anxiety Tool Kit.
You are able to customize an action plan for yourself to help manage your anxiety. Anxiety is a very personal journey that we all walk in, which means there's not a one size fits all approach. By using these tools and experimenting with each one, it allows us to see which works best for us personally given the truths of brain science and biblical truth to give us the peace and calm we are looking for.
The Calm Your Anxiety Tool Kit includes:
–a four-part video training that talks about how to manage your thoughts as you work on your anxiety
–20 affirmations for anxiety and fear, which are powerful statements to speak over yourself when you’re struggling with anxiety in the moment
–calming meditation to help when you’re struggling with anxiety
–two powerful resource sheets for anxiety coping strategies (in the moment, and ongoing maintenance strategies)
–podcast list of episodes on managing anxiety, worries, surrendering fear to God, and a calming meditation.
–template for creating your custom anxiety plan for more calm and peace
You don't have to carry the guilt of worry and anxiety. God says there will always be triggers for fear, there will always be a reason to feel these ways, but we don't have to allow it to turn into anxiety and worry. We can create an action plan with different ways to respond to anxiety triggers.
If we let the anxiety sit inside of us it's not going to get better. It's just going to continue to compound, and that is when guilt begins to develop. That's what the enemy wants, but you can find freedom in these areas.
We're going to dig into this a bit deeper next week. There are some very specific things that are keeping us stuck in these patterns and we will address how to take responsibility for some of these mindset issues around anxiety.
OTHER PODCAST EPISODES ON RELEASING GUILT:
Free Anxiety Workshop (for Calm Your Anxiety Mindset Tool Kit):
SIGN UP FOR THE FREE WORKSHOP:
3 Steps to Freedom from Anxiety Based on Brain Science + the Bible
Do you struggle with worry and anxiety? You’re not alone—Anxiety is arguably the #1 mental health issue today, even for Christians.
As a former anxiety sufferer (and a NeuroCoach that’s worked with 100s of women) I’ve learned that we need practical mindset TOOLS (based on both brain science and God’s word) to get His calming TRUTH into our thoughts.
That’s why I host my FREE anxiety workshop: 3 Steps to Freedom from Anxiety Based on Brain Science + the Bible… and you’re invited to join me!