“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.”– Colossians 3:1-2.
Ever lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling, and wondering about, well, everything? I have. I take a perfectly normal situation and come up with seven different things that could go wrong. It’s classic overthinking, and it happens because I am worried about “what ifs” when I don’t need to be. Or I’m taking something personally that doesn’t have anything to do with me. Or I care way too much about something somebody said or did. The problem with overthinking is that it is typically useless and it’s exhausting. I stress myself out and it doesn’t get me anywhere.
In 2020, overthinking is happening a lot more frequently than it normally would. What if I lose my job during the pandemic? What if I test positive for COVID-19? What if one of these tropical storms follows the path of Hurricane Michael?
When we allow ourselves to get caught up in all of the proverbial “what ifs,” we are essentially not trusting that our faith is big enough to help us in this particular situation. Do we trust that by playing out the scenario in our head 100 times somehow we will manage to make everything right when the time ultimately comes?
The real root of overthinking comes from answering the question: Who do I trust? I am overthinking if I am thinking when I ought to be praying. I am overthinking if I am thinking when I ought to be trusting. I am overthinking if I am thinking when I ought to be resting or sleeping or relaxing with my wife or playing with my children and enjoying margin in my life. While that all makes sense, it is very difficult to do, especially today.
If you feel like an anxious, uncertain over-thinker today, Jesus has a message expressly for you. If you feel that constant worry has become the norm in how you function in life, please take a moment to look up Matthew 6:25-34. Read it, let it soak in, and ask God to remove your uncertainty and doubt and replace it with faith. The Psalms are filled with the poetry and songs of those who were overwhelmed by danger, emotional unrest, fear, or despair—overthinking every agonizing possibility for their future. Psalm 6:6 reads, “I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears.” Psalm 94:19 says, “When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” David ends Psalm 6 with this: “The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer. May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified. May they suddenly turn back in shame.” (vs. 9-10).
- Do you tend to overthink? Why?
- What can we do this week to decrease our overthinking and increase our trust in God?