Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Psalm 139:23 (NIV)
King David invited God to know his anxious thoughts.  In their book, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, the authors address the dangers of toxic fear. 

Before I ponder the adjectives, I give attention to the nouns "thoughts" and "fears."  I am thankful for both, at least the healthy variety of each. 

I enjoy healthy thoughts of . . .

  • raindrops on roses (Sing if you know the rest.)
  • time with my wife and kids
  • memories of joyful events
  • Jesus' love for me
I welcome the fear that . . .

  • tells me when danger lurks
  • reminds me to remember that drivers often don't see motorcyclists
  • keeps us from doing stupid things (sometimes!)

Now to the adjectives . . .

The words "anxious" and "toxic" make me . . . well, anxious.  When someone begins a sentence with "Don't worry, but . . ." - it's already too late, even before the "but" perhaps even before the ",".  Nevertheless, the wisdom in Jesus' words rings as clear and true as it did two millenia ago.

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Matthew 6:27 (NIV)

How then are we to avoid anxiety and reject toxicity?  Jesus comes through yet again.

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:33-34 (NIV)
Thirty-four is brought to you courtesy of thirty-three.  When I live the words of 33, my anxious thoughts fade and my toxic fears give way to faith-based assurance.  So when the bee stings and the dog bites (Singing yet?), I simply remember my favorite things (Yet?). 

One of my favorite things is the collection of history, letters, poetry, theology, and story known as the Bible.  God's word defeats bee stings and dog bites.  For example . . .

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:37-39 (NIV)
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (NIV)

Just a few sentences after verse ten, the Apostle writes an explanation that reminds me of 33.  When anxious thoughts and toxic fears creep your way, recall and cling to this explanation . . .

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)

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