Breaking Down Anxiety - Part 2
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
As we began working through Philippians 4:6-7, specifically how it speaks to singlehood, we discussed the loneliness that can come from falling behind an unwritten timetable. The desperation that comes from being left behind as friends progress through stages of “growing up.” Now it’s time to go a little deeper and recognize when that desperation has turned into fear.
Peace and fear cannot coexist…
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Tim 1:7
And if it’s true that peace guards our hearts, then we need to learn how to recognize fear!
Fear attacks our mind.
Referring back to 2 Timothy 1:7 it says, “For God hath not given us a spirit fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind." Having a sound mind means we live in confidence that God has good things for us and we can think clearly and positively about our future. That kind of thinking comes from God. Having fear means we live in insecurity and confusion. We fixate our minds on negative things and start to protect ourselves. That kind of thinking is not from God.
Mark Driscol, a pastor in Seattle, Washington called this kind of thinking “The False Gospel.” More specifically he said that fear preaches a false gospel. It seems to take over, and soon we are making our decisions based on fear instead of self-control and a sound mind.
Fear attacks our identity.
Fear-based thinking says that there must be something wrong with me if I'm not married yet. I am not a complete person, or I will never have a fulfilling life without that special someone. I’m running out of time, very soon everyone good will be taken.
Fear creates false gods.
Mark went on to say that if your fear is being single, then your heaven is marriage and your savior is your spouse. Is that powerful or what? Let's break that down a little bit. If you live in fear that you will be single for too long or forever, then your heaven is marriage.
Plain and simple, marriage is not heaven. I am blessed with a great marriage, but I still yearn and long for a place where all my tears will be wiped away. Where there are no bad days. Where there isn’t such gut-wrenching heart work or huge sacrifices to make on a regular basis. After all these years with my spouse, I have no doubt that heaven is light years better than marriage!
Next is the idea that if your fear is being single, then your savior is your spouse. To unpack this, we first have to know what is meant by the word savior. The heart of the word is save. To live in fear of being single is to believe that your spouse will indeed be the one that will save you. He will save you from loneliness, from desperation, and a life of insecurity. Feel free to add your own ideas to my list. You know what you are hoping to be saved from. The problem with this is that you are putting something on your future spouse that they can’t deliver. You are setting them up for failure, and you are setting yourself up for a huge disappointment. No human being can come close to loving or sacrificing the way Jesus did. The failures experienced in marriage can bring an even deeper loneliness, desperation, and insecurity than being single. It is for this reason that even in a great marriage, Jesus must continually fill the couple before they can love one another the way they need to be loved.
So, accept God's peace so He can guard your heart and mind. Allow your fears to be laid down, knowing that God has great plans for you and ultimately everything you need will come from Him. "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him..." 2 Peter 1:3
Has fear preached a false gospel to you?
What are some of the fears you have about being single or being married?
Have you been making decisions from a spirit of love, self-control, or a sound mind? Or have you been making decisions out of fear?
Are you receiving God's peace in the waiting?
I would love to hear some of the fears you are choosing to lay down in the comments. The minute you recognize them, their power will be taken away!