The Choice (Anxiety-Free Monday, Wk 3)

Hmmm… Coke or Pepsi? Tennis shoes or boots? Salad or Big Mac?

We make thousands of choices a day. I know that sounds a little bit crazy, but seriously– just think about it. From the moment we wake up, our brain is buzzing, making decisions before our feet even hit the floor. (Even the action of getting out of bed is a choice!)

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get a little overwhelmed with all the choices that whack me in the face each day. Sure, I love having control (which is an entirely separate issue) but some days I halfway wish someone would just make the choice for me.

Especially the difficult ones.

That’s right– not all of our choices are as easy as what we will wear or if we will go to the gym after work or not. There’s some tough choices out there… like what career to pursue, where to live, who to marry (or to get married at all), or who/what will be the center of our lives.

Questions

Source: Oberazzi via Flickr

With freedom can come choice… and with choice can come anxiety.

But did you know that we can make a choice NOT to be anxious and instead be content? I know, I know, we gotta chalk that one up in the “easier said than done” category. But it IS possible.

Paul says in Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Um, yeah… Great idea, Paul. But HOW in the name of Jesus do we make that happen?

We do just that– simply whispering Jesus’ name is a great place to start.

We must CHOOSE to pray instead of worry. It’s a choice we can make with each thought, no matter how big or small our challenge or circumstance might be.

In Linda Dillow’s book “Calm My Anxious Heart,” she addresses this very question with four of Paul’s basic practice principles to CHOOSING God over our worrisome inclinations:

*Choosing to give our anxieties to God
*Choosing to pray specifically
*Choosing to be thankful
*Choosing to dwell on the positive

It’s a choice. Daily. Hourly. Minute-by-minute. It’s not going to happen over night, (darn!) but as with all things that God calls us to do, He doesn’t expect us to do it alone.

Ultimately, we have to CHOOSE God over ourselves. See, our flesh loves to have control and when things don’t go OUR way, we tend to worry or get upset. Instead, we can make the choice to trust God with EVERYTHING in our lives. When we do, He will help us to calm our anxious hearts and find contentment in Him alone.

So I have a couple of questions for you today:
1. What is the biggest barrier to choosing to pray instead of defaulting to being anxious?
2. What practical things can you do to choose prayer over worry?

I always love hearing your thoughts– leave a comment below! 🙂

They say it takes (at least) 21 days to change a habit. What if, for the next 21 days, each time our heart flops and a worry bubbles up, we mentally STOP… And pray it away? After awhile, we wouldn’t just have a new habit– But God would have transformed our heart.

Choosing prayer over worry can be one of the best choices we will ever make. So what will you choose?

Choosing Him First,
SGK

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” ~Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG) 

******

If you are “officially” participating in our online bible study for Calm My Anxious Heart, here is Chapter 3’s “homework” for the upcoming week. Enjoy! 

Day 1: Study Guide– Question 1, Memorize Psalm 139:14

Day 2: Study Guide– Question 2, 3, 4, 5

Day 3: Study Guide– Question 6, 7, 8 a.,b.

Day 4: Study Guide–Question 9a,b, 10

Day 5: Study Guide– Question 12

***Extra (as in, you don’t have to do it– but if you are into it, go for it!***

Word Study:  Psalm 139:14 (Remember Old Testament is written in Hebrew)
Fearfully; Wonderfully; Made; Works; Wonderful; Know

Word Study:  Phil. 1:6
Confident; Began; Work; Completion

Categories: Anxiety Free Monday | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “The Choice (Anxiety-Free Monday, Wk 3)

  1. Hannah

    Sharita,

    You have no idea how much I needed that EXACT message this morning! Thank you so much for bringing it to my attention first thing this morning.

    Have a blessed day!
    Hannah

    • That is so wonderful, Hannah! I love, love LOVE it when God uses a message about something specific FOR someone specific. Coolest. Thing. Ever!

      Thanks for the encouragement and praying that God is writing His words on your heart 🙂

  2. Kristie Hooper

    Dito!! I found myself this morning being anxious about a situation…and I said “ya know what? I’m going to pray about this, and let God show me how He wants me to handle it”…this was confirmation that it was best to put it to prayer instead of worry! thanks!!!

    • WAAWHOOO!!! Great, great job, Kristie! So thankful God is working in your life. (He is doing a big ol’ work in mine as well!)

      Praying that it continues for you– and kudos on making the right choice!

  3. The biggest barrier for me when it comes to choosing prayer over being anxious is habit. I’ve been a worrier so long that I don’t even realize I’m worrying about something sometimes. It’s not that I CHOOSE to worry,it’s just habit for me.

    I’m working on it!

    Some practical things that I have been working on is to just relax and let things happen. I went to my first community group with church last Wednesday, and when I walked in I was the oldest person there…by far! I thought I had accidentally signed up for the college girl’s group. I decided to just take it easy and see how things went the rest of the evening. I ended up not being the oldest person there, so it was just by chance that it was mostly younger women (fresh out of college) that were in the group. I had a great time despite (at first) feeling that I didn’t belong. I’m looking forward to Wednesday already 🙂

  4. Touche, Tonya– habit IS an ugly little barrier (and one we don’t really see til we are looking.) Thanks for bringing that up!!

    Also, VERY cool that your initial community group “Yikes” turned into a Jesus “YAY!” excited to see how tomorrow goes with week #2 with your new CG. Be blessed sister, and thanks a million for your loyal and faithful commenting!

  5. Really like this.

  6. I’m going to take your challenge–21 days to prayer without worry. This was so excellent and after sprouting a rash last week over some worry, I’m ready to change!

  7. Kim Wright

    Thanks Sharita! I think your 21 day challenge is exactly what I need! I too have become a worrier out of habit! Thanks for your inspiration!

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