Like those silk webs that come out of nowhere and wrap themselves across our skin, our negative thoughts wrap themselves around our psyche. Soon, a day that started out good gets tangled up in negativity. We begin to grumble, chastising ourselves and others. And like those pesky spider webs, we wonder, “How can we swipe away negative thoughts?”
Many people also struggle and suffer with reoccurring anxiety. One person I’d point out right away is Paul the apostle. He writes in Philippians 2:28, “I am the more eager to send [Epaphroditus], therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious.” Again in 2 Corinthians 11:28 Paul writes, “And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.” Even though Paul preached against anxiety (Philippians 4:6), he still had to deal with it.
There are victims of sexual abuse in every community and institution in society, including churches. There are certainly victims of sexual abuse in your congregation. It is often invisible in our congregations because of the silence of the victims themselves. Powerful forces can keep it so, and the shame that victims feel can perpetuate the idea that “good” families are exempt from its reach.
We all struggle with the fear that our lives don’t measure up. We all long to be seen as significant in the eyes of someone important, perhaps a parent, a boss, a teacher, or a friend. Sometimes the goal is to meet our own impossibly high self- expectations.
Social anxiety is very common especially among introverts. We need to talk about it. Here’s 5 tips to dealing with it, with God’s help.
Some people collect beetles, or stamps, or objects with penguins on them. Apparently, I collect crises of conscience. Because moral angst has been a prominent feature in the landscape of my spiritual journey, I’d like to share what I’ve learned with others who traverse those regions.
Previously, a pastor could explain the sinfulness of smoking pot by highlighting its illegality. But what do they do when the laws change in favor of it? North America is seeing this shift with recreational marijuana legalization on the rise, soon to affect Vancouver, my home city.
We assume we should milk what we can and spend as we like, as if we were mainly citizens of the mall, devotees of capitalist consumerism rather than Christ. Humans, animals, and ecosystems are all suffering as a result.
Everyone wants margin in their lives but few have the courage to give themselves such a thing. It takes courage to have space. It takes courage to do less. It takes courage to say no.
You feel indifference bubbling in the pit of your stomach. In your work to help others, you take in the hurt of those around you, and feel your compassion slipping away. You register the nightmare of someone else’s reality, but your eyes glaze over.