Anxiety & Personality

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]nxiety is something that I experience often. I remember taking a personality quiz with my brother one time, and I put myself down as very emotional (or emotionally changeable or something like that). I showed it to him, and he seemed very surprised that I had put that down. One thing that can feed this anxiety is the thought of what other people think about my anxiousness. I think that sometimes it is displayed around me for all to see. Clearly not!

I do a lot of introspection (perhaps too much) and so I’ve realised that there are certain things that make me anxious or nervous. Standing up in front of adults and giving a presentation – this is sometimes part of my job. Talking with people, especially strangers can be very daunting – I often feel I have nothing to offer or to say of much value or interest. I am surrounded by intelligent friends for whom the art of conversation seems to flow freely and unreservedly. Another thing is the fear of the future. I think most people go through this. I have a certain standard that I measure myself against and I often fall short of it.

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This fosters shame and a sense of being good for nothing. I am acutely aware of certain things I do that I know to be wrong, but still do anyway. Viewing online pornography for instance. There we go! Not a nice word to hear on a Christian site I know. All these thoughts flood my mind and the accuser (the devil) does his work of condemning very well indeed. Anxiety, depression, and judgement fill my mind. “You were raised better than this!”, “Look at you! Call yourself a Christian?”. I take the bait. “What good can come of me?” I might say to myself.

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I believe I am right to examine myself. Paul says in his letters that we should do this. He also says that there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ. If I think about the future two verses come to mind. “The Lord provides according to his riches in glory”, and “Many plans does man have, but the Lord directs his steps”. I was reading recently in the book of Matthew, Chapter 11, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

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The last verse I want to bring to the forefront are the words of Christ where he says, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:25-31)

It’s easy to quote, but difficult to live. The beauty of Christ – that I am learning – is that we can deal with these issues. Actually, they are already dealt with at the cross and now it’s my turn to take up my cross. What does that mean? It means facing full on the reality of my fallen nature and sin, and despite this live by God’s grace which transforms me into the image of Christ with a total lack of condemnation. I fully expect victory in my life because that’s what Christ promises. I expect to conquer these anxieties and fears. In fact, I am already.

To those with more fears and questions than answers I would repeat the words of Jesus

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“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Luke 11:9-10

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