When we first announced some training this week on anxiety – I received this reply from someone. “How can I help people with anxiety when I am so anxious myself?”
Maybe you can relate to that question too! We’re finishing another week where anxiety feels a bit normal, perhaps even expected. Maybe you want to be a source of hope and encouragement for people around you, but you’re starting to feel discouraged too.
So how do you evaluate what you’re feeling? Should you help others who are feeling anxious? Here are two quick suggestions for you to consider.
1. Distinguish between godly concern and sinful anxiety.
Godly concern is a healthy recognition of obstacles we are facing when we are determined to live our life for God’s glory and to bless others. Sinful anxiety is about protecting self: my kingdom, my desires, and my possessions.
A wise person sees the level of danger and makes an accurate assessment. A foolish person either disregards the warnings or sees them without any possibility of God’s intervention or ability to use them for good. The fool only sees the threat and danger.
Focus on seeing the big picture with God’s sovereignty over all these circumstances, and your anxiety will lessen.
2. Distinguish between things that are my responsibility versus general burdens.
As you watch the nightly news, you may feel beaten down with difficult news headlines all around. However, one of the things that can help us with anxiety is our willingness to accept the right responsibilities.
If meeting the needs of others would prevent you from handling your personal responsibilities, then refocus your attention on caring for those closest to you. We all can’t be Dr. Anthony Fauci, but we can all care for those immediately around us with the limited resources we have.
Focus on the things closer to home and your anxiety will lessen.
We need to follow the directive of Christ to avoid fear, worry, and anxiety, even when the threat is real and great! We may not be perfect or have all the answers, but we can still help others who feel anxious.
We wrote a whole series on anxiety and how God helps us grow through it. You can find helpful articles and encouragement as you battle. View the Series Page!