tHe Good News ABout worrY
wants to break the cycle and have the peace of God that “transcends allunderstanding” the Bible talks about (Philippians 4:6–7).Lee was reaching out for help. But I had no more expertise thanhe had in managing money; in fact, I could remember the earliest yearsof my own marriage, with busted budgets, skimpy clothing allowances,and a steady diet of hamburger. Instead of financial advice, I tried tomake some suggestions about how to cut back on his worries.
I’ N h sam f evyn
Lee is not alone. Everybody experiences anxiety to some degree oranother. In fact, anxiety is a condition of mind that lurks behind much
of our thinking. It conditions our response to life in countless ways,
often limiting us and limiting what God can do through us.Of course, not everybody gets anxious in the same way or for thesame reasons. For some, anxiety is slight, and so it’s normally ignored.For others, anxiety is so massive the sufferer nearly stops functioning.
Some anxious people appear cool and collected, while others can’t seem
to hide their jitters from the world.Imagine, if you will, three different people in Lee’s financial bind.
The first might be an “avoider.” Though he feels a rush of panic on
becoming aware of another financial shortfall, he simply sits and watcheslate-night TV, avoiding the entire mess until he starts receiving threaten-
ing letters from creditors.
A second person in the same situation might pay immediately,
even reducing his standard of living to meet his obligations. Yet he ismiserable, tightfisted, envious of those who have something he doesn’t
have, and resentful toward God. He also fears constantly that future
needs won’t be met.
A third person might become emotionally paralyzed. He’s not about
to make any budget changes, look for a new job, or indeed do anythingto solve his problems. To him, any move could turn peril into outrightdisaster. So he “freeze-frames” his life, stopped in his track by the fear