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Listening, Anxious, Anxiety

“The first duty of love is to listen.” –Paul Tillich

The art of listening is crucial, especially to someone with anxiety. Listening with compassion and care can help relieve the burden of the speaker; reassuring and giving peace of mind as they pour out their heart.

Listening First

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Some Christians, myself included, are quick to offer Philippians 4 without really hearing the person. It is like going to the doctor and receiving a prescription without even discussing your problem. We all know how it feels when a friend rushes to offer advice when you need someone to listen. The same thing happens when we offer Phillippians 4 as our first step in consolation.

Don’t dish out Matthew 6:34, assuming it will be received with faith. Listen first, and then start with edifying scripture that shows care, and God’s love and presence. “When you’re really struggling inside, it can feel very lonely, and what you need most is someone to know you, not just fix you. You need them to care”.

If You’re Dealing with Anxiety

Know that God loves and cares about you and that you are not alone in this journey. God is here for you and he will listen to you any time and any day. He is your Number 1 Listener.

There are no quick fixes and no one solution fits all. Well-intentioned advice could bring unintended shame. For example, If your friend has been fighting a battle for years and you walk in with, “Oh, just do this – it’s easy with God!” It can feel like you’re saying, “If you were a good Christian, you’d know this already.” Shame makes anxiety worse. The best help you can offer is listening. Kris Langham

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Psalm 139 – Great Scripture to Start With

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me” Psalm 139:1

Stop there. That’s huge. God knows you (anxious or not). He knows everything about you, and He still loves you.

“You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar” Psalm 139:2

Even when you feel alone in your thoughts, God knows. You are not alone. When you move and when you stop, He is there. He hears you, he listens, and he cares.

“You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely” Psalm 139:3-4

When you feel like you just can’t clearly express your feelings, God understands your words even before you say them.

“You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain” Psalm 139:5-6

This is so beautiful. David, the author of this Psalm, was no stranger to trouble, and all kinds of mixed emotions. Yet here he simply stands in awe at the fact that God knows him. Knows him deeply. He reflects that this kind of knowledge, God’s knowledge of me, is too wonderful to even grasp.

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You’re Always in God’s Presence

The first six verses are all about being known, but the next six move to God’s presence, and the impossibility of escaping it.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
Psalm 139:7-12

No matter how far you run, or where you hide, God is there. God sees you and He knows you. You may feel alone in the darkness, but God is with you. And there is a deep rest that comes in simply knowing His presence. I call it the awareness of His thereness.

And that, for me, changes everything. Like a little kid alone in bed at night, afraid of every threat, real or imagined, it all fades when I know that a loving God is there to keep me safe.

Read Psalm 139 for yourself, and take some time to consider how well the Lord knows you.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

For Thought & Discussion:

  1. In verses 1-6, what does it mean to you that God knows you thoroughly? How should that realization affect your worries and concerns?
  2. In verses 7-12, David reflects on the impossibility of fleeing from God. How does your awareness of God’s constant presence affect your thoughts and your heart?

Thank you for reading. I listened to this devotion by Kris Langham and it inspired me to share with you guys. To be continued, stay tuned. I hope you’ll be blessed by it and alleviate some anxieties. Happy Wellness Wednesday. Stay Blessed Always!




5 thoughts on “Listening: Anxious Hearts Need Open Ears

  1. Fredrick G. Kanja – East Africa – I am highly motivated with strong leadership, organizational and interpersonal traits. As a dynamic person, I appreciate challenges and value the diverse opportunities and energy of working within a team. I am a team leader. My core values are integrity, excellence and servant leadership. As an individual, I like responsibilities, I am hardworking, I enjoy the challenges of new situations and derive much pleasure from improving my abilities in helping others improve theirs
    Fredrick G. Kanja says:

    There’s is so much to learn from this well articulated article. If God is for us then who can be against us .He knows our names, sees our tears also hears us when we call . He’s always here to fill our cup when they are running dry .

    A paining hearts need a wide ear ” hope humanity can Just take it’s place and leave GOD’S place for Him . If only we saw more, heard more, touched more, cared more, loved more OUR NEIGHBOUR S as we would appreciate them do for us ‘ the world would be a better place 😊😊

    Thanks for these wise words👏👏

    1. Marie Cook
      Marie Jeanderine Cook says:

      I’m glad you like it. I was really inspired by the devotion, too. So much to learn about God and his infinite mercy and love for us.

      No wonder he wants to follow in his footsteps by showing the same kind of love and care to our fellow humans.

      Thank you, Fredrick for your thoughtful comments. 😊

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