This fall she's opening her Christian counseling practice, Spreading Shalom Counseling Services. Right now you can contact her through her church, Hillsong Church (www.hillsongchurch.org) if you're looking for a good Christian counselor in the Chapel Hill-Durham area.
She passed this sermon along that she wrote a number of years ago and I found the "anxiety as a moocher" image really helpful. Thought I'd pass a little piece of her wisdom along to you. Enjoy!
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.As far as I have been able to determine, living without problems is not an option in this world. But this passage says that the peace of God is. So how do we go after it? There are four directions in this passage.
The first one is “Don’t keep on being anxious about anything.” That’s a little different from translations that read, “Be anxious for nothing” and here’s why.
Biblical Greek has two ways of giving a command. It’s the difference between ordering a continuous action and a completed action. Let’s imagine that anxiety is trying to steal your peace. Anxiety can be a mugger or a moocher. Anxiety could be like a mugger who says “Give me your peace!” As soon as you hand it over, the mugger’s going to leave.
But in this verse, the verb form is the one anxiety would use to move into your house and steal from you every day. “Keep on giving me your peace, because I am not leaving.”
Paul is not saying “Never at any time be anxious” but “Don’t keep on being anxious about anything.” He’s not telling us not to have feelings; he’s telling us not to get stuck in them. We’re not supposed to let anxiety move in with us and drain us every day.