Author: Ron Graham

Challenge and Change

Anxiety, Apathy, Activity
—New Year revolutions

We all make new year resolutions. Why not try revolutions instead? Here are three things that you can revolutionize, and by doing so get a life.

The best thing to do with these things is to lessen them a lot. (I feel a pun coming on —this is a lesson about what to lessen). Get rid of these things when they are inappropriate and where they are spoiling your life.

1 Less Anxiety

Unresolved anxiety is the deadly enemy of health and happiness. Paul exhorts us not to be "anxious about anything" and offers us resolution through "prayer and supplication with thanksgiving" (Philippians 4:6-7).

Of course Paul isn't talking about being anxious if your child runs out on the road or your husband is having a heart attack. Anxiety has a purpose and gives the body extra get-up-and-go for an emergency. But prolonged anxiety is a bad thing. Jesus tells us to trust God and not to worry (Matthew 6:25-34).

Most anxiety problems are worsened by people fixing their minds on themselves, whether it be self trust, self hate, self seeking, self enslavement, self assertion, etc. There is one principle that revolutionizes this: "The Lord is my helper, I won't be afraid" (Hebrews 13:5-6).

2 Less Apathy

Apathy is the cause of many shipwrecked lives. A lack of interest in things one should care about results in the harmful neglect of those things. This applies not only to things of which God has made you a steward and servant, but to the very word of God itself.

If these words could well be spoken to you, then wake up. We need to ask ourselves what things should concern us most, and in those things take the most earnest interest.

3 Less Activity

Most people try to improve their lives by committing to more activity. They load themselves with more and more responsibility, tighten and stretch their schedules to breaking point. However the very opposite less activity and release from all unnecessary burdens —will make for a good life.

Jesus said, "there is need of one thing" (Luke 10:38-42). That puts everything else into perspective. The parable of the big dinner has people too busy to do the best thing (Luke 14:16-24).

Solomon said, "I enlarged my works" and even his understated list of accomplishments could hardly be more impressive. But he admits, "I considered all my activities which I had done... and behold all was vanity and striving after the wind..." (Ecclesiastes 2:4-11). Don't fall into that trap. Do a few things well rather than be burdened with many things.

star Have more happiness through less anxiety, less apathy, and less activity. Happy New Year!