Philippians 4:6 in the New International Version of the Bible reads: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. In today’s society there is a massive emphasis placed upon the pursuit of the perfect being.
If you visit a book store you will easily discover shelves of self-help books which highlight the stories of individuals who consider themselves to have mastered the skill of helping one’s self be the best at who they are and with suggestions and illustrations these self-help books demonstrate tools and decisions that will help you master the task too (or so the thought is promoted).
One of my personal continuous topics of self-discussion has long been this thought of being the best, leading the way, standing out in the crowd, being a person who not only asks questions but also provides answers. If you know me, have heard me speak, we have an association together where we know each other more than just acquaintance identification, I believe you have your own self-established descriptive of my personality and who I am.
I am someone who strives to be the best I can be. I am someone that is not afraid to step up and out of a crowd to lead the way. My self-description would include that I too am someone that likes to help people and providing answers to questions is a part of my characteristics that is noted by others who have and are observing me. With this being true in my personal evaluation of me something you might have missed is my battle that rages with respect to “not be anxious.”
Philippians 4:6 is my focus verse of scripture for this year and this issue of self-control and not wanting to make somethings happen is a real challenge for me. My life has always been active or at least I would describe my life as such. I would suggest evidence of this statement could be supported by the many multi-tasked events, programs and associations I’ve maintained at once as proof.
As an active person experiencing set-backs that literally halt not only our progress but our movement are difficult for me to deal with. Not being anxious is first taught to us when as children we are instructed to “hold on, wait a minute,” or the expressions “we will but not today” and “that sounds fun but let’s think about this.” These expressions are not the words welcomed by those who are go-getters. Standing still is not always easy to practice. The Bible suggest to Christians in practicing their faith to “be still and know God.”
I’ll confess again in this article, my inner being in the practice of self-control and not being anxious is a challenge that is best stated as a battle. Set-backs are not welcome in my world but I’ve had plenty of practice in my attempt to be perfect and not anxious. While I am in the pattern of confession I should go ahead and write that with all the practice I’ve had I am still experiencing failure and I have not mastered the skill of not being anxious.
Some experiences could be our hope for a cough to cease or for a running nose to dry-up. A headache or the more serious, a migraine to go away can create plenty of anxious battles. The battle in fighting cancer, heart disease or diabetes hands out lots of anxious situations. A personal desire to hear a good medical report or to experience improvements like being able to get out of bed, bend a knee, for pain to subside or to get up and out of wheelchair and walk again hands out like a flood plenty of anxious issues that individuals face.
I might give myself credit for success in some matters but in others, I’ve got a long way to go. Keeping the attitude of anxious in her proper place and in check is a challenge. My scripture for the year has the answer along with the instructions in Philippians 4:6. Developing the correct attitude in dealing with the spirit of anxiousness must first be battled with the attitude of thanks. The proper vehicle for the attitude of thanks to travel is the highway of prayer. I am praying now that I will not be anxious following the road signs and instructions from Him as I continue my journey. I will be praying the same thing for you too.
Follow Tim Mills on Twitter @THMills.