Developing a Theology of Anxiety…and Why It Matters (The Truth about Mental Health)

In the famous words of Lin Manuel Miranda via Hamilton: An American Musical

“If you stand for nothing, Burr, what’ll you fall for?”

My oldest daughter wanted a t-shirt with this phrase on it for Christmas, but low and behold, of all the Hamilton shirts I could find… this one didn’t exist, at least in time for Christmas.

I have a theory. It’s just so much work to even know what we stand for.

It’s work to scour the internet for research on whether news is fake or real. It’s work to decide what matters to us personally. It’s work to jump on another bandwagon when the next day brings a new thing we need to stand up for.

It helps to have a basic foundation. It helps to believe in something greater and bigger and truer than momentary movements and messages.

As you can imagine, I don’t expect you to know how you feel about everything, or take on every social injustice. But if you’re tired of trying to figure out what ideas to keep and which to set aside, it’s time to get into the Word.

There is a theology to everything we think, feel, and see in this life. We have a basic belief system through which we view life. That thing, whatever it is, gives us stability in an ever changing world.

Why do we need a theology of anxiety in particular?

I’m so glad you asked!

Without a basic lens, you feel like you’re watching a tennis match: looking one way and then the next, following the thing of the moment hoping it’s something that matters.

Studying topics and concerns from the foundation of Scripture tells us what God values, how God sees our situation and our need…otherwise we end up feeling sad, alone, and abandoned because He isn’t participating in this life with us or by our rules.  Then we default to whatever sounds like a good idea to help us at any given time, trying one thing, then the next, and the next, so we end up feeling worse.

In this episode, we look at what God values rather than what the world around us values, and how it affects anxiety and the care we offer for anxiety, as well as mental health stigma in general.

After you listen, give us your thoughts! How do you think the foundations we recognize in our life impact mental health, spiritual care, and anxiety in particular?

*Did you know? The ILMS podcast is sponsored in part by Melissa Sue Photo and Design. I highly recommend her! She does much of my graphic art work and is a gifted professional photographer. She is unapologetically enthusiastic about helping people tell their stories! Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, and her website. Pssst – she’s helping me redesign this summer, so look for an exciting reveal in the Fall. 😉

Above All Names – Bread of Life

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

John 6:35

When we were in Spain this fall, I watched as sweet little old women walked along the sidewalks each morning, pushing bag carts to pick up large crusty loaves of fresh baked bread. They bought just enough bread for the family, for that day. Jesus is just enough. He is just what we need for this day. As the Bread of Life, that Baby Boy sustains us. He fills us. He satisfies us. We take in His Word, and that Bread gives us everything we need to understand what is before us. And even when it feels unsure and uncertain, He knows what we do not. He is enough. So we don’t have to be.

Someone gave something up for your freedom (Chasing Freedom)

We really want everything to be OK.

We want to use a thumbs up emoji for life itself.

Good to go!

We want to look around us at our family and friends and say good to go there to.

As we grow in our faith and understanding, our eyes open a bit further though and good to go just isn’t happening for the most part.

We look inside of us and around us and we see struggle. We see addiction. We see loneliness, fear, and heartache. We see other religions, different ways of finding meaning, and calls to action that open lots of questions we never knew we had:

What about abortion?

What about sexual identity?

What about Buddhism, Islam, or all those other -isms?

Is Heaven the real deal, and perhaps the bottom line- is Hell?

Good to go is good for most days, but we crave more. We want to know more, seek more, and understand more.

God gives us answers in the Bible, it’s Truth written out with blood stained ink by the prophets and early Apostles of the Church.

People died for this Truth. But people die for other truths, so which truth is actually…well…Truth?

In today’s podcast we’ll examine Truth with a capital T and it’s connection to sacrifice. We’ll wrestle with tough questions with no easy answers and one easy answer all at the same time.

Find the podcast here. Share your thoughts in the comments. Get the conversation going.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6