Fear, Worry, and Anxiety in the Pilgrim Life

I’m really enjoying this one by Ed Welch.  It is an easy, clear, straight forward yet penetrating discussion of what fear, worry, and anxiety do to us in our pilgrim life.  Welch has studied humans and their fear and he’s studied scripture, which makes for a practical read.

Part one covers the following: 1) Fear and worry that run deep in us all, 2) Fear and worry have meaning and they tell us something, 3) Fear and world have to do with a dangerous world, and 4) Fear and worry reveal some of our deepest loves and values in life (sometimes in a way we hate to see!).  I just finished part one, so I’ll post a couple pieces from it.

“Any time you love or want something deeply, you will notice fear and anxieties because you might not get them.  Any time you can’t control the fate of those things you want or love, you will notice fears and anxieties because you might lose them.  Good insurance policies might help, but they only lessen the risk on things that aren’t our real worries.  They can’t insure that our loved ones will outlive us or keep us from the ravages of age.  Control and certainty are myths” (p. 28).

Welch also has a great discussion showing that money is quite powerful.

“If we need what money can give us, we will notice rising insecurities whenever we do the bills.  …With money we can get adequate medical treatment, love, respect, and care in our old age.  Nothing else in creation can offer so much control and power.  Without it we are vulnerable and powerless.  No wonder our fears attach themselves to our net worth” (p. 41).

This has been a helpful book so far, even though I’m not finished.  I do wish it had a scripture index and a topical index, but this doesn’t rob the content at all.  Running Scared would make a great book-club selection, as it would be easy to read and discuss together.  Welch even has some questions scattered throughout the book for further reflection.   I’ll post more some other time, but for now, get the book (it’s less than 11 bucks!) if you want a practical and biblical “attack” on your worry, fear, and anxiety.

shane lems

sunnyside wa

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