Anxiety and anxiety disorders are multifactorial problems. In some cases, the lack of repentance can be an obstacle to healing. The idea of repentance is ignored, feared, abused, and misunderstood by many – including pastors, priests, and psychologists. The goal is not to blame or excuse yourself but to find real solutions that help with anxiety. The best part is that God gives you an incredible way to heal your deepest wounds.
Why is this important?
There is usually an explanation as to why our reactions are misguided. It might be due to a traumatic childhood, dysfunctional family, or an economic crisis. However, if your anxiety overwhelms you, then there might be something else going on.
- If money problems generate excess worry, then perhaps greed is the culprit. Maybe it is an unhealthy desire for material things. In some cases, dishonest economic gain can be a source of anxiety.
- Pride can manifest itself as a desire to be in total control. Since this is impossible, the person may feel symptoms of anxiety.
- Some that suffer from vanity might be anxious about making mistakes. So this person, ironically, might actually avoid being in the spotlight.
The effect of these problems can be very profound. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have reason to worry. But these tendencies (greed, pride, vanity, envy, etc.) cause us to react in exaggerated ways.
What is repentance?
Repentance is more than just feeling sorry. Repentance is a sincere and complete remorse for mistakes in attitude and action. Many times our reactions to stress are hurtful to ourselves or others. While it’s important to name the things that hurt us, we should also reflect on our reactions that only increase the hurt. If we don’t consider repentance in response to anxiety, we risk excusing everything and the problem just gets worse.
If these flaws are not easily recognized by you, ask God to reveal them to you. Ask him to show you where you are stumbling. That way he can pick you up and put you on your feet again. In moments of humility with God, he shows us where he wishes to restore us.
It’s not all your fault
This is not an exercise designed for you to drown in guilt. It’s not all your fault. But the things that fall under your responsibility should be identified, and you should repent. This gives you a tremendous opportunity to receive God’s grace in abundance.
Concept of justice
When we justify our actions based on the actions of others, way seek justice. If a person or circumstance has harmed us, we have a strong desire to set things right. The problem is that human justice is forever flawed. We do our best, but we can never be perfectly just. For example, criminals who steal for drugs – shouldn’t we also hold accountable their negligent or abusive families? What about the community or society that never responded to the family’s needs? Justice is complex, and that alone makes us nervous.
The only one that can be perfectly just is God. In God’s presence, evil cannot exist. This is why our sins must be extinguished before we enter into God’s presence. But our mistakes cannot be eliminated without a price. It would be absurd to think that there are no consequences from hurt or abuse. So God provides the ultimate solution that teaches and transforms us.
We can never claim complete innocence, and here we are all equal. We have hurt others and ourselves. Even our thoughts can be hurtful. But Jesus was innocent, and he took up himself all the condemnation that should have fallen on us. Through Jesus Christ we are clothed in redemption. He makes us clean and whole when we stand before God.
This is why repentance is so important. Because if we hold anything back in repenting and confessing our sin, we refuse God’s justice and mercy. God, is not only perfectly just, but also infinitely merciful. In Christ’s resurrection, we are eternally free. This is the greatest help in times of worry and stress.
So you can pray…
I have suffered at the hands of others.
I know things have conditioned me and hurt me.
But it’s not all just about my situation or my past.
I’ve made mistakes, and the denial of my sin is an obstacle to my freedom and healing.
I will not be deceived by the lie telling me there is no hope.
I will not be confused by the world that tells me that there is no price to be paid.
God, you want to set me free in truth. That is why you sent your Son.
To die for me.
That I may be free.
Show me Lord where my faults are.
That you may clean my wounds.
Forgive me Lord.
Free me Jesus.
Cleanse me Father.
Renew me again Holy Spirit.
In Jesus’ name,
Image source (modified).