Responding to anxiety, doubts, and fears (Part 1): Are your thoughts really true?

Anxiety is a big problem in today’s western culture, especially among adolescents and young adults. Why do we give in to the power of worry? How can we respond to doubts or fears thoughts that plague us over and over again?

One big problem is that we begin to believe lies that the world is telling us. In fact, the lies that we accidentally believe not only increase our anxiety and fear, but they increase negative emotions like sadness and shame and often they hurt our relationships too.

In this five-part blog series, we’ll take a look at three of the most common categories of lies that I hear regularly in the counseling room from clients.

  • Lie #1: The world lies to us about who we are.
  • Lie #2: The world lies to us about our relationships.
  • Lie #3: The world lies to us about

But today, let’s take a look at how we can handle these lies.

Humans have the ability to train our minds. We are creatures of habit (good or bad). We can recognize our thoughts, test them, and change them – and this will change our experience of anxiety, hurt, and relationships.

What do we need to learn how to do?

Test everything against the truth of the Gospel.

The reality is, lies from the world creep into our minds and hearts slowly. They catch our emotions. We find ourselves believing something without even realizing it. But whatever someone says to you or whatever you are thinking, you can test that word or thought against the truth of the Gospel. Does it affirm truth? Does the Gospel shine new light?

During this blog series, we will focus on these three particular areas of lies, and how to fight these lies with the power and truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the meantime, below are some Scriptures that highlight not only the need for us to recognize and challenge our own thoughts, but the necessity of doing so.

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

1 John 4:1-6 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.”

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Check out the other posts in this series:

Part 2: Know Who You Really Are

Part 3: Engage in Deep and Meaningful Relationships

Part 4: Know the True and Living God

Written by Jessica Hayes
iHope Executive Director