Why worry?

February 27th, 2019

Chances are good that either you or someone you know struggles with anxiety. Experts believe that more than six million American teens struggle with an anxiety disorder. Some experts believe the number is higher, considering that many adolescents don’t always seek treatment.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders of childhood and adolescence. “Researchers believe brain changes in adolescence increase a teenager’s vulnerability to depression and anxiety.” According to the Child Mind Institute, nearly one in three adolescents (31.9 percent) will meet criteria for an anxiety disorder by the age of 18.

“When I first started counseling 24 years ago, probably one out of every 20 kids coming in were dealing with anxiety,” says Sissy Goff, a licensed Christian counselor for teens and children in the Nashville, Tennessee, area. “Now, out of my new appointments, I would say at least 16 of every 20 families are here for that reason, if not more.”

What does God think?

Jesus specifically tells us not to worry about what we will eat, drink or wear: “Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life?” (Luke 12:25). Jesus didn’t intend to make us feel guilty for anxiety that seemingly can come from nowhere at times. Our food and clothing are items of essential security and, if they were scarce, then we would undoubtedly be concerned. However, Megan Croft, another family therapist in the Nashville area reminds us that “Christ did not come to prevent people from ever experiencing suffering but to be a constant presence through pain and worry.”

Jesus invites his followers to lean on God and trust beyond what we can see. Ultimately, whether or not we receive a high grade, make the team or are accepted into the perfect school does not affect the realization of God’s kingdom. What matters most is our faithfulness and openness to God’s purpose for our lives.

Question of the day: How do you calm down when anxiety starts to take hold?
Focal scriptures: Luke 12:22-31; Exodus 16:2-5; 1 Samuel 1:2-11

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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