Anxiety disguises itself as the voice of reason. Just like Satan’s lie to Eve, anxiety calls into question God’s love while tempting us with promises of more knowledge and more control. (Genesis 3:1-5) Only truth from God’s word can help us fight such a crafty enemy. Let’s expose 7 specific lies of anxiety, and the truths that helps us fight it.
Lie #1: Anxiety keeps you in control. Anxiety promises to prepare us for the worst. If we constantly live through everything that could happen, we’ll be ready if/when it does…right? But it’s a false sense of security. Anxiety doesn’t prepare us for the future; it only robs us of joy in the present.
Truth: “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?…But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:27, 33
Lie #2: Anxiety leads to peace. Anxiety promises that if we mull over the scary hypotheticals or if we constantly relive every past hurt, we will eventually come to some sort of satisfying conclusion. But it’s a wild goose chase. There are some questions, some “what-if’s,” that we cannot resolve this side of heaven. Peace comes from looking at our perfect savior, not at our circumstances.
Truth: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27
Lie #3: Your feelings define reality. Anxiety calls us to live in an imaginary world. We see everything through the lens of how we feel. But our feelings change. They lie. We will not find rest for our weary souls in our ever-changing feelings. We can only find true rest in the unchanging character of God.
Truth: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
Lie #4: Anxiety owns you. Once you’ve stepped down that mental path of fear, it’s easy to forget the way back out. One fear leads to another. Anxiety becomes master. It demands our loyalty. But in Christ, we don’t owe anxiety our next thought. Our hearts and our minds belong to Christ. He is our master and He will never let us go.
Truth: “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
Lie #5: Your anxious thoughts are from God. Anxiety often starts with something good: a desire to be the best wife and mom, or an opportunity to take on more responsibility at church or at work. These precious responsibilities seem inseparable from stress and worry. Worrying almost feels like part of being a good steward. But while the responsibilities are from God, the worry is not. God does not want us to fear. He wants us to trust Him.
Truth: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Lie #6: Anxiety claims your identity. Anxiety wants you to believe that this is who you are: You are an anxious person and you always will be. But the gospel gives us one (and ONLY one) identity: Jesus Christ. When God looks at you, He sees His Son. In Christ, you are not who you were yesterday – you are who Christ is today. His perfect life is yours. His righteousness is yours.
Truth: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Lie #7: If you struggle with anxiety, God can’t use you for his glory. When we fall for anxiety’s lies and give into worry, the worry spirals into guilt. The anxiety that promised control and peace suddenly turns on us. “What kind of Christian are you? Your faith is so weak.” But every struggle, every weakness is an opportunity to put God’s glory on display. When we lay our anxiety at the foot of the cross (over and over again), we open our hearts for the power of Christ to dwell in us. The very thing that shows us our guilt is the same thing that shows us the beauty of our savior. When Satan throws your anxiety in your face and says, “You did it again” – look to the cross. You live by the power of Christ.
Truth: “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me…for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Books by Sara Wallace
“The gospel is the foundation for what it means to be a mother. It is always through this lens that Sara’s wisdom comes shining into our daily lives where joining all the dots can be tricky.” – Kristyn Getty, soloist; composer; hymnwriter; coauthor of Sing!
“The culmination of 30 years of evangelical thinking about parenting. Clear guidelines, great illustrations, and very practical. – Pastor Steve, Atlanta
“The Gospel-Centered Mom is a huge gulp of refreshing air for moms who are in the thick of raising kids. It takes your eyes off of your performance and places them on the one who performed perfectly for us.” – Jessica Thompson, co-author of Give Them Grace