Tag Archives: as a man thinks in his heart

Winning the Battle Over Depression – Part II – What Anxiety Does to the Heart

This series comes as a result of a friend who battles with depression asking that I write something on the topic that may help her. I promised her that I would do it about two months ago. This series looks at depression from a biblical perspective. I hope it helps anyone struggling with depression in some way.

Note: I encourage you to read the earlier posts associated with this series to give yourself the best opportunity to get the most out of this topic. For Part I, click here

What Anxiety Does to the Heart

As he thinks in his heart, so is he – Proverbs 23:7

There is a what we think in our mind, then there is what we think in our heart. What we think in our heart is deeper and has a long lasting effect. According to the bible, what we think in our heart is the determining factor on who we become, and by extension, I will add sets the course of our lives.

Point A: The thoughts of our heart holds the power to control the trajectory of our life.

There is no solving the depression issue without solving the heart issue. When anxiety enters the heart, it causes “dis-ease” or “lack of ease” in the heart such that the thoughts of our hearts (what we hold to be true in the depths of our being) begins to stoop (bow down, pay homage, or otherwise worships) to anything else other than the truth.

Point B: Depression is not a disease (dis-ease) of the mind, but it is a disease of the heart. Hence it is less about what you think is true in your mind, but more about what you believe to be the truth in your heart.

Please read the next sections very carefully and re-read as often as needed until you truly understand:

What is true is different than what is truth! A truth is a fact that NEVER  changes regardless of situation, circumstance, or how much time has elapsed. Something that is true on the hand is a fact, but that fact can change with time, circumstance, or situation. Another way of differentiating between true and truth is this: What is true is temporary but what is truth is permanent.

In our inner ideal world, truths become laws or principles that form the bedrock of our beliefs, shape our identity, and mold the way we see our world. Note that from a biblical point of view, since God holds all truth, only He should be able determine our truths.

Unfortunately, there are those times when our inner world becomes less than ideal. It is in these moment that anxiety can kick in and then things other than the truth begin to shape our belief, identity, and the way we see our / the world.

Point C: Anxiety in the heart turns an unpleasant temporary fact into our truth.

Once an unpleasant temporary fact turns into our truth in our hearts, our heart begins to interpret the present through the lens of the past unpleasant fact, thereby mortgaging our futures. Another way to say the same thing is this:  Anxiety in our heart causes us to get stuck in a moment / temporary experience, and then interprets all future possibilities through the lens of that past moment / temporary experience. This is why changing environment has little lasting impact on depression sufferers although it may offer temporary respite.

Note: In the above paragraph, there is a difference between the truth and our truth

Worse still, anxiety in our hearts keep us in an infinite loop where our unpleasant past experience causes us to have unpleasant present experiences, which we then remember in the future as unpleasant past experiences.

If you can relate to this, then it is very possible that there is some life experience, statement, situation, or condition that may or may not be true (factual) that you have taken to be truth (the truth for you being something you deeply believe that in your heart you truly think will never change).

Point D: We should not let what is true explain the truth, but we should let the truth explain what is true.Ask yourself these questions – What do I truly believe in my heart? When did I start to believe it? Is what I believe in my heart truly permanent or it is temporary? Are my believes in line with the truth?

It is possible that you anxiety exists where your truth is a lie and not the truth – when we believe a lie, we live a lie. And that lie can steal our joy. It is only the truth that will set us free.

Next Time We Will Discuss The Topic – The Root Cause of Anxiety

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I think I feel – You could be your own worst enemy!

Oh I think this; Oh I feel that! Just because we think it does not make it the truth, and just because we feel it does not make it real. And just because a friend agrees with it does not confirm it. Since what we feel stems from how we think, it stands to reason that we can change how we feel by changing how we think. The scripture gives credence to this by letting us now that ‘as a man thinks in his heart, so is he’ (Proverbs 3:27). So what kind of men or women are we? Does what we think line up with the Word? If whatever we are thinking does not line up with truth (the Word), then it is a lie! This lie in turn creates fantasy (untrue) emotions that lead us to speak lie-based words and take lie-based actions. We start living a lie-based life that keeps us in bondage – for only the truth brings freedom.

Since words create worlds and words come from thoughts, it is best to create a world of life and truth by inclining our ears to God’s word instead of creating a world of lies and death by acting on our own thoughts and feelings, even if they are supported by the world – which they most likely will be.

Yes, we all have our own thoughts and feeling and we will always have opinions. Yet, we must scrutinize them against the perfect law of liberty (the Word) when they come. If they do not jive with the Word, we must surrender them to God in humility for they are fear-based lies from the father of lies (Satan) who is most likely plaguing on our past experiences, fears, and insecurities.

Should we find that our thoughts never jive with the Word, it’s a sure sign to us to surrender our hearts, spend more time with Him in Word and prayer, and give up our control for His control. When we do this, our thoughts will begin to reflect more of his thoughts.

Remember, His thoughts towards us are good; always to prosper us and to give us a future and a hope (see Jeremiah 29:11).

Lightbulb MomentWhile our thoughts tend to be motivated by a mixture of good (love, hope) and evil (fear, pride, selfishness) and leads to foolishness at best, God’s thoughts are motivated by agape love and always lead to life.   

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