Recovering Redemption

You Can't Buy Your Way Out of Anxiety

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I just read Rebecca Jennings’ article on VOX, Fidget Spinners, Weighted Blankets, and the Rise of Anxiety Consumerism.

There a lot of popular products out now that want to be the answer to your anxiety.

But they can’t.

FDA guidelines strongly recommends these companies never claim their products can be used to treat anxiety because there’s not really any scientific proof that they do. Instead they get away with just saying their products “can be used for anxiety.”

They might help relieve some of the stress and frustration but they’re not cures. The effect is addressed but never the cause.

And these products are HUGE. Most of them started on Kickstarter and raised millions of dollars because people are desperate for something to help them with anxiety.

From the article:

 

“We’re not understanding how to deal with [mental health]. Instead, we’re throwing products at it. It’s very American.”

 

We’re dealing with the fruit and not the tree (I was going to say root but I didn’t want to rhyme). We’re pulling all the apples off the apple tree and hoping oranges start growing.

Why do we do this? Because it’s easier. Because to really change things we need to attack the roots and commit the hard work of removing the entire tree and planting a new one. It’s scary, it’s difficult, and it’s incredibly uncomfortable.

It could involve going to a counselor or digging in to your past or being truly honest about how you view yourself.

It could be a really painful process. But it’s worth it.

From the article:

 

“It makes sense that our immediate impulse is to buy stuff that promises to deal with [our anxiety] so that we don’t have to.”

 

It’s hard work. In Recovering Redemption they called it “spiritual surgery.” But it’s the type of surgery where you’re awake the whole time.

Oh man, how great would that be, though? God knocks you out, you wake up a few hours later, and He says “Ok. I took your anger issues away.” Sweet.

I can’t buy my way to freedom. I have to be willing to do the work.

Oh Jesus please remind my heart daily that the work is worth it and that you’re the one guiding me through every step.

Why Struggles Never Get Addressed

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You can’t fix a problem unless you’re willing to admit the problem exists.

Imagine you’re at your car mechanic waiting for them to finish your oil change when this old, ugly, busted down car pulls into the parking lot. There’s smoke coming from the engine, one of the tires is flat, and there are weird smells and weird noises everywhere.

The manager goes out to talk to the driver and asks “What can we do for you?”

“Nah. I’m good.”

“Excuse me?”

“Yeah. Everything is great.”

“There’s nothing wrong with the car?”

“Nope.”

Meanwhile the car sounds like a sick donkey trying to clear its throat.

The car will not get the help and attention it needs until the owner is willing to say “I think there’s something wrong. Can you fix it?”

If you go to the doctor and never tell them you’ve had pain in your stomach for 2 months and you cry blood, you will never get a diagnosis, and you’ll never get the help you need.

Confession is so important because it is where all meaningful growth and change begins. It’s the first step. Once the issue is in the open you begin to deal with it.

The Mister Rogers quote I use all the time is “if it’s mentionable, it’s manageable.” If you can talk about it, you can deal with it.

A lot of times we’re willing to admit the problem is exists (to ourselves) but we’re not willing to accept how big the problem is. We think we can handle it on our own. ‘There’s no need to bother anyone else about this. I’ll fix it myself.” If we think we can handle these issues on our own, we should have to set a deadline for ourselves. How long are you going to try to deal with something on your own before you’re willing to say “I guess this isn’t working.”

In their book Recovering Redemption Matt Chandler and Michael Snetzer talk about why it is foolish to look to ourselves for salvation from our problems.

 

The truth is (and come on now, you know this) you would be hard-pressed to find anyone—AN-Y-ONE—over the course of your lifetime who has lied to you, and fought you, and failed you, and disgusted you more than you have. Right? And that’s the person you’re counting on to come to your rescue? That’s the one who’s going to figure it all out and turn things around for you? Serious? An improved version of you?

 

There’s no problem too big or too small for Christ. There’s no way to deal with the problem until you admit it exists. And God has given us the church, his body, our family to help carry us through redemption and healing. We should never try to go through it alone.