Scripture: Genesis 1:26-27; Proverbs 12:25-26; 14:12-13
This Sunday, in our sermon series, Through a Mirror Darkly, we are discussing how one of the most challenging aspects of being human is that we all suffer from feelings of sadness, anxiety, and failure. Anxiety is the product of worry. Usually, a worry comes from the fact that a situation you care about feels out of your control. We don’t waste our time worrying about situations where we feel in control. So the issue of control is really at the center of worry and anxiety. And when you feel out of control, this is when those bad thoughts begin to creep in.
You begin to question: What did I do wrong? Am I good enough? Should I have done things differently? Am I a failure? Your mind starts to blow things out of proportion and the prospect of failure gives way to sadness. You feel hopelessness; you feel downtrodden; you feel despair, which then only causes you more anxiety and the cycle starts all over again. Any of this sound familiar to you?
We all want to avoid those feelings of sadness, anxiety, and failure. We often do so by creating these cocoons around our lives to keep us safe. Ironically, all that safety can have a negative impact because when maintaining safety is your main focus, then you never really end up living your life. When you’re constantly scared of being hurt, then you’re never willing to take a chance. The cost of self-discovery comes with the possibility of feeling sadness, anxiety, and failure. That is the risk you incur for being bold.
Failure is such an important aspect of our lives because we learn so much from failure. And yet, most of us spend huge amounts of time doing everything in our power to avoid failure. And herein lies a paradox: when you try your entire life to avoid failing, it only produces more anxiety because you spend all your time worrying about how not to fail. On the other hand, when you go out and experience failure, then it actually reduces your anxiety because you become less afraid of failure.
On Sunday, we are going to delve into this paradox and talk about the advice the Bible provides to manage and overcome this human condition from which everyone suffers. May you have wonderful Independence Day and a fun weekend celebrating with family and friends. See you on Sunday!