Anxieties, doubts, and fears tend to be triggered by some sort of lie that we have accidentally come to believe. In Part 1 we looked at how to test our thoughts. Then we looked at the value of remembering who we really are. Today, we will look at the second lie that can easily trigger anxiety.
Lie #2: The world lies to us about our relationships.
Tell me if this sounds familiar… “If I mess up, everyone will be disappointed in me.” Or how about this one… “They hurt me, so I’d better hurt them back.”
These are common thoughts that we have about relationships.
But they are lies.
The world around us sends the message that relationships are all about feeling good. The media promotes that relationships are all about looking good, feeling happy, and owning fancy things. We are encouraged to divorce our spouses if they aren’t making us happy. We handle conflict by pushing people away. This is a recipe for anxiety, fear, worry, and doubt.
How are we supposed to respond to these lies about our relationships? By testing everything against the truth of the Gospel.
The truth of the Gospel is that Jesus died for his enemies, and we are now called to love each other radically. Relationships are about caring for each other and supporting each other. And this biblical truth plays out in our emotions – anxiety is reduced when we feel supported, and fear can be replaced by loving kindness.
Satan wants you to have only two types of relationships – relationships that are painful, and relationships that are superficial. You wind up either hurt or isolated. And while it is true that you will sometimes disappoint some people and sometimes people will hurt you, our relationships can still deepen and flourish when we respond like Jesus – sacrificing for our enemies, loving those who misunderstand us, and placing the good of others above our own feelings in the moment.
Are your relationships causing you anxiety today? I would encourage you to pray for that person and to pursue reconciliation in a way that is caring and truth-filled. If you need help in that conversation, find friends, mentors, a pastor, or a counselor to help. Get in the room together and talk it through.
Written by Jessica Hayes
iHope Executive Director