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Seven-Day Practical Faith Blog: Turn Your Anxiety into Enthusiasm

A year ago about this time, I met a new brother in Christ, John Rabins, at the Blue Lake Christian Writer's Conference. He is the award-winning author of Defined by Fire: Seven Life-Changing Lessons from Devastating Tragedy.

Losing his home, possessions, and a rental home in a forest fire sent John on a spiritual journey for identity and meaning. He captures the seven lessons he learned in the book.

One chapter, "What I Think," states this truth:

I am not defined by what I think;

rather, I'm defined by what He thinks. (meaning, God)

John shares a revelation he received from the Lord: "The Christian life is not one of me becoming a better person - it's one of discovering the person God already see me as."

Part of that discovery is uncovering and controlling our thought life. John tells of attending a seminar where he learned the difference between below-the-line thinking and above-the-line thinking. He shares that his own below-the-line thinking includes anxiety, resentment, evaluating, withdrawal, passivity, control, and pressure.

John learned how to maneuver such thoughts to above-the-line thinking. For example, when he is stuck in anxiety, he has learned to shift to thoughts of enthusiasm.

Since reading this, I've pondered and employed this particular combination several times. A good case is when I'm asked to guest on a podcast. As many times as I've been on air or on the spot throughout my radio career, my business career, and my ministry venture, I still get anxious when I'm going to speak. But I replace those anxious thoughts of what might happen with enthusiastic thoughts of what could happen as a result of this conversation. That shift helps me show my passion, which listeners tend to latch onto.

Anxiety is a fear-of-failure thought. Enthusiasm is an open-to-possibility thought. If we can change our focus from fear of failure to being open to possibility, perhaps we can tamp down our anxiety.

From leading many faith-based classes, I feel like anxiety is a primary below-the-line thought for most people. What if you could turn your anxiety into enthusiasm? What if you could see yourself as God sees you, as a beloved child, rather than any negative definition of yourself? What if you could stop blocking God's action in your life because of anxiety, and open yourself up to the possibilities God has in mind for you?

Anxiety is surely one of the reasons we do not take risks for Christ. A recent Amazon reviewer of my new book, "From Comfort Zone to Trust Zone: How Jesus Urges Us to Take Leaps of Faith for His Kingdom," wrote the following:

"With each chapter, I felt empowered to confront my fears and embrace a deeper, more authentic relationship with God."

That is turning anxiety into enthusiasm and being open to God's possibilities! Maybe this book will help you, too. Check it out at or through Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other online booksellers.

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