Now, after examining what “financial anxiety” and “trusting God” look like, maybe you’ve realized that you’re in the former category — or at least that you can veer that way, at times. Does that mean you aren’t a Christian? Can there be believers who don’t really believe, sheep who don’t trust their Shepherd?
Back to Psalm 23, notice verse 3: “he restoreth my soul.” According to Keller’s book, this phrase likely refers to a shepherd’s loving intervention when a sheep becomes comfortable and lies down on its side, only to end up on its back and unable to get back onto its feet again. Panic ensues, putting the helpless sheep into a dangerous condition referred to as being “cast.” What an amazing parable of our day, in which we have significantly more financial means and “safety nets” and yet (as a culture) experience greater anxiety!
How To Counter Anxious Attitudes
Just as the cast sheep is completely unable to get himself back on his feet, consider these three significant Scriptural admonitions from the Amplified Bible regarding anxiety:
“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on [God].” (1 Peter 5:7)
“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
“So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34)
The passage leading up to the last verse truly sheds light on the heart of financial anxiety: misplaced love. For those desiring to follow those commands but aren’t sure how to take the first step, biblical counselor Ed Welch calls the battle against fear and anxiety a “blessed fear” and gives helpful suggestions for breaking free from such captivity in his book “When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety.”
How To Counter Anxious Behaviors
The pattern of “putting off” and “putting on” that we see in Ephesians 4:22-24 definitely applies. Biblically, outward conformity is always rooted in inward transformation (Romans 12:2). The goal is not to become hypocritical, with outward generosity propelling further inward anxiety, but for both thinking and acting to align with God’s stated design — that is true financial health and freedom!
The opposite of fear is love, and love is demonstrated by both attitudes and action (2 Timothy 1:7, 1 John 4:18, 1 Corinthians 11). Of course, our love is always imperfect, but it can still reflect God’s love when it is motivated by an understanding of His great love for and grace toward us (1 John 4:19).
As we grow in our love toward Him and demonstrate it by being generous toward others, we will be given the freedom to loosen our grip on our possessions, opening our hands to receive His many blessings, including joy and peace that anxiety can steal away.
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