In I Peter 5:7 we are invited to cast all our anxieties on God because he cares for us. This is a beautiful All Access Pass to God’s compassion for everything that unsettles our soul. I believe when most of us read a passage like this we can exhale and let our shoulders relax a little bit. But then, we’re not quite sure why this sense of peace does not last.
Imagine a situation like this. You have a project to do, but you don’t have the tools to complete it. A neighbor says to you, “You can use any tool in my garage.” Or, you have a three-week pile of laundry, and your washing machine doesn’t work. A friend says, “You can wash it all in my washing machine.” These are wonderful blessings that give you access to what you need.
You initially feel loved and relieved. But you realize something else is needed.
Access to tools doesn’t mean you know which tool to use or how to use it. Permission to use the machine doesn’t mean you know how to sort the laundry or which setting is best.
This helps us see the importance of asking, “What is the first step towards responding to anything well?” Assessing accurately. If you have a stomachache, you need to know if it’s caused by an ulcer, food poisoning, or lactose intolerance. There are many “good remedies” for a stomachache which may not be a “good fit” for your stomach pain.
Our goal in this lesson is to learn how to respond to our COVID-related anxieties by accurately assessing the type of anxiety we are experiencing. Not all anxieties are the same. It is not just that we worry about different things. There are also different types of anxiety. We want to help you sort through the types of anxiety you may be experiencing and give you some basic guidelines for responding wisely to each. We will consider three ways to sort our anxieties.
Here is the PDF transcript for this lesson – Sorting Our Anxieities_COVID 2020
Questions for Small Group Study
When studying this lesson as a small group, we recommended that: (a) each participant reads this article in advance, (b) the group watches the 25-minute lesson together, and then (c) the group discusses the following questions:
- What is an example of when you were given a great offer but lacked something in being able to use it?
- Do you ever get frustrated that Bible application can feel too one-size-fits-all? If so, what effect does this have on your Bible study and sense of trust for God?
- What are the things that have been stressful or anxiety provoking for you during this COVID season?
- What are the benefits you see in differentiating (a) factual from hypothetical, (b) rational from irrational, and (c) temporal from ultimate anxieties?
- How does the image of showing our trust in God’s care by giving ourselves to the things we enjoy help you alleviate guilt you may feel because of decreased productivity?
- When or how have you seen Christians overuse the category of ultimate anxiety and create an unnecessary sense of guilt or a sense of unrest related to temporal anxiety?
- How has talking about your stresses and learning multiple ways of effectively engaging them created a greater sense of resilience for this difficult season? [It may be a few days or a couple of weeks before you answer this.]