A Biblical Perspective On Anxiety
Despite what some contemporary psychologists say, anxiety is not a new problem brought on by a fast-paced technologically modern society. In fact, anxiety stretches back to biblical times, as Mental Health Grace Alliance point out on their blog.
Heightened anxiety is discussed throughout the bible including passages directly referencing it in Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Matthew, Luke, Phillippians, and Peter. It is also possible to see many biblical figures and their actions as the manifestations of anxiety.
Sometimes, anxiety is a symptom of just being a natural, caring person. It can be healthy when anxiety is an expression of concern for the well being of others, or a response to a threatening situation. But, excessive anxiety is not level.
When fears stop coming from real concern for others or a direct response to danger, anxiety stops being healthy, and can indeed be destructive on a spiritual level as well as a physical one. Excess anxiety can create misconceptions of the figure of God. Those dealing with anxiety disorder often feel as is God is a perfectionist who can never be pleased. They forget how forgiving the savior is.
When ministering or supporting those dealing with anxiety, try not to focus on the punishments that come with living a sinful life, but instead focus on the unconditional love and forgiveness the lord provides us.
Focusing on the punishment side of sin can be destructive anyways, as living a healthy and loving life should come from desire to be a good person first, and pleasing the God second.