Episode 3
|
November 23, 2021

Above Anxiety | Contagious


While we don’t sneeze or cough anxious thoughts, anxiety is definitely contagious! How can we keep from catching it? Let’s see what God says.

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[Music]
if you're new to 242 in the last month
or so allow me to introduce myself my
name is brad i am one of the teaching
pastors on staff we do everything as a
team including rotating the preaching
and the teaching and uh so today i'll be
uh preaching for us today as we are
continuing in our series uh that we're
calling above
anxiety
and and this whole series just kind of
let you know where it came from uh is
this acknowledging what we've been going
through
these last couple years i mean these
have been some times have caused a lot
of anxiety in in culture and in society
and and i'll just be honest with you as
pastors you know part of our job is to
you know step in to
your anxieties and you know sometimes
counsel and sometimes help and any way
that we can but
but that also
can you know make our lives just kind of
just you know you know not difficult
like it's hard to do but like but we we
care for you so we feel uh that angst
and that anxiety
and so what we did earlier this year
just to be a blessing to our pastors and
our staff is is uh we all did a book
study together we read this book called
managing leadership anxieties and and we
had the author steve cuss uh come in to
242 to do a training for our staff just
to make sure that we're healthy make
sure that we're relating with anxiety
well and and to give us some you know
skills and some tools in this season to
go through and that training was so
beneficial and so fruitful for us as a
church staff that we said man
we want this for our congregation we
want this for everybody and so that's
where the series kind of birthed out of
we said what if we did a whole teaching
series and we we talked about some of
the principles that we've learned and we
shared that with our church and and what
if steve the steve cuss the author of
that book was willing to come back and
preach to our church
and so that's what we did and so today
we're in the third week of this series
next week we'll wrap this series up and
steve cuss will be here he'll be here
preaching and he will uh bring the
message and you don't want to miss that
so definitely come back and hear that
for no other reason if for another
reason just know this he has an
australian accent so it's it's like a
superpower when you're a preacher it
just sounds cool you know
but no he's a brilliant man devoted his
life to study of anxiety uh definitely
come back for that um if you missed any
of the weeks you can go online and catch
up with us you know the first week we
talked about how anxiety is different
for different people
and you need to be able to identify the
anxiety in your life because because it
may project differently
for some people maybe anxiety is mental
it's a it's a rumination a thought that
you just can't get out of your head that
just keeps sterling or swirling around
over and over again and it consumes you
to the point where you get no relief
from it
for other people anxiety is is
physiological maybe you always have like
an upset stomach maybe you have hives
maybe you have pain in your body but but
you carry anxiety with you and it
expresses itself physically in your body
so first we just talk about like
identifying anxiety naming it for what
it is and acknowledging what it is is
just an emotion
it's an emotion like every other emotion
and we all feel all of these emotions
and the goal is not to get rid of
anxiety that would be a detrimental to
you because there's an appropriate time
for you to feel anxiety there's a right
time where anxiety has a proper role in
your life and you should feel that
but when anxiety persists
and you get no relief from it
that is unhealthy
so we don't want you to get rid of
anxiety we but we also don't want
anxiety to control you
and so that's what we talked about that
first week and then last week we just
talked about uh for those who who for
the anxiety does you know present itself
kind of you know in the ruminations and
mentally just learning how to tell
yourself the truth
learning how to acknowledge what is true
and here's the thing that's going to be
really difficult for you to do if you do
not have a personal standard of truth
you know maybe some of you here today
maybe you came with a family member or a
friend maybe you don't know if you
believe in god or jesus and and and for
you you know like you're just society
kind of dictates what's right or wrong
and that's been changing over the years
and centuries and and so for you maybe
some of the angst in your life is just a
lack of stability into some kind of
foundation
for me when i open up these words
i don't see something that happened long
ago
i see something that's happening still
today
situations scenarios
reactions words
that are the exact same situation
situation scenarios reactions and words
that we use
today because on these pages are the
lives of human beings
and in our room right now
we have the exact same thing
and so when i look at the bible i see
that as the anchor point of truth of how
god wants to deliver us to be above the
anxieties of this world and i still
believe we can get there today and
that's why we call the whole series
above anxiety because literally
literally that is like
the image that god gives us from the
very beginning
like
literally open your bible like page one
verse one that's what it says it says in
the beginning god himself created the
heavens and the earth and it says that
the earth was empty and formless and
dark
and then it says the spirit of the lord
hovered above
the waters
another translation for that hebrew word
can be the spirit of the lord
was over the chaos
god is above the anxieties in this world
and i believe god wants his children his
sons and daughters who claim him as
their father and lord
to show this world a different way to
live
a way above anxiety
and if you're in this room today and
maybe you've not accepted jesus as your
savior you don't have a personal
relationship with him
i want to just show you
that what jesus modeled for us
it works
and what i love is i love it when
science catches up to the bible
because because now we have psychology
we have a way you know different way of
understanding the human brain and mris
and and counsel we have all these tools
available to us but what's interesting
is as we're delving deeper into these
tools we're seeing that what jesus
actually said
what jesus actually did
actually completely and perfectly aligns
with what is most beneficial for human
beings in these areas
so for our time today here's what i want
to do i want to just unpack to you just
a principle of how to handle anxiety in
a healthy way and i'm going to show you
a biblical example of how jesus does
that
and in particular i want to talk about
for our time today how do you handle the
chaos that is contagious
how do you handle the anxiety
that is contagious
because it is so true our emotions are
contagious and and when you're around
people who are you know high anxiety
people or maybe angry people who are
like
it's easy for those emotions to seep
into our lives
and so how do we get above that
and here's the perfect thing because
because we're going to talk about this
today and you're going to i'm going to
give you this like lesson from jesus and
literally this week you're going to have
the perfect ex opportunity to model this
on thursday
when you're in a row a crowd of people
in your home with their extended family
and you're getting together for
thanksgiving dinner in the year 2021
i don't even know how you do
thanksgiving in the year 20's 21. can i
be honest with you i mean first off it
was already a little dicey can we just
be honest about that
like already thanksgiving was a little
dicey i mean i remember i you know my
wife like hey we're going to my extended
family you don't know them all yet just
just want to let you know uncle earl's
gonna say something wild okay we just
all ignore that okay so just
ignore that thing he's gonna say he's
gonna be super racist but just ignore it
or whatever he says you know
but in the year 2021
everything is wild right what do you
talk about at thanksgiving in the year
21 that doesn't just blow up
yes we'll talk about politics the
economy mask vaccine this is going to be
fun
like just walking on eggshells through
this whole meal you know
the anxiety is going to be real in a lot
of homes on thursday how do we not allow
that to affect us how do we model a
different way
in that environment how do we be men or
women of peace
in steve cust's book he wants to bring
to the front of our mind that there's
three ways to allow other people's
emotions to affect your life
if you're taking notes i would write
these downs if you're a picture taker
you can take a picture of the screen but
but i want to just you just have
frameworks where all have the same
definition for these words the first way
that other people's anxiety may affect
your life is a word called enmeshment
enmeshment an enmeshment as you can see
like those those two circles are kind of
almost completely overlapped what
happens with the enmeshment is as you
allow someone else's emotional state
to completely and totally dictate your
emotional
state old adage is the joke is you know
the example of this is
well if mama's not happy nobody's happy
right
and then we all laugh about that but but
there's some truth to that like if if
you're your spouse is angry and upset
then then that makes the whole household
anxious and we all take on that energy
and we all get angry and upset as well
maybe if our moms or wives or whatever
are upset and we're enmeshed in their
emotions
can i say this too
it's not just a woman thing like a lot
of people a lot of people like to act
like males don't have emotion
i don't know where you see that
i i think men may be more emotional to
women honestly if i'm if i'm keeping it
a hundred
and
if you don't think if you don't if you
don't think that men struggle with
enmeshment
then you tell me right now why was about
half of this room
having such a horrible day yesterday
because some college students in lansing
forgot to show up and play a football
game
[Applause]
you're all in your feelings like this is
not fair i'm mad like you weren't in the
game it wasn't about you calm down
they had a bad day it doesn't have to
ruin your day
but i i get i i'll take the hit because
we're going to get ours next weekend
don't worry i'm like it's going to be
rough game next weekend but anyway we'll
get there together and then after next
weekend michigan michigan state fans we
can all just hug like we got to we're in
this together okay
back is one
but no enmeshment what happens is
someone else
completely ruins or affects your
emotions if someone else is having a bad
experience you don't feel like you have
the right to have a good experience
now i gave you two kind of trivial
examples of that
but what a measurement and measurement
given full birth grows into
is codependency
and codependency is damaging
and dangerous for us
we should not be so ingrained into other
people's emotions that it affects our
emotional state
and measurement probably not the best
the other way to interact with other
people's emotions which is also probably
not the best is detachment
like notice how the circles are like
they can't be further away from each
other on that side like the detachment
is is completely you know void of one
another like what happens to you has
zero effect on me oh your life is
falling apart so sorry my ice cream is
delicious
like it doesn't take you problem that
has nothing to do with me you know i'm
just gonna go on my merry way
i remember in high school
i i had a concrete example of detachment
in my life
i went to high school and for one of my
years my freshman year downtown
louisville kentucky at a high school
louisville central high school now what
you need to know about louisville
central high school is it's in the hood
like the hood though
like i'm talking the hood like like
really really really into hood though
you know
and and and the school was in such a
rough neighborhood that we didn't even
have school buses because that was like
too dangerous the school couldn't handle
the liabilities of school buses and
fights on buses and these type of things
so we had to use the city buses for
school
the city buses with all the people and
so like i remember once i was waiting on
the city bus out in front of the school
i was waiting for my particular bus to
come i was standing with a friend of
mine
friend i didn't care anyway and uh
i'll never forget these two guys maybe
like a you know halfway up the block
they yelled over to us like hey
youngblood come here for a minute
and i'm just like i was like
don't pay attention to that
hey young blood let me check you out
come here my friend's like i think
they're talking to us i'm like nope just
ignore it
he's like young blood let me see you for
a minute my friends like they want us
over there i'm like that's a bad idea
my friends i'm gonna go check it out
good luck with that
i'll never forget like so like if you
were my perspective he like he like
walked over and into them and all i saw
was them just put their hands on him
like this
okay
and then my friend turns around he
starts walking back just tears in his
eyes
and he's like
they robbed me
i was like
what'd you expect you know like i told
you i'm getting eaten with my ice cream
you're like i just
completely detached i didn't care that
he got robbed i didn't care that he was
afraid i was like you're silly shouldn't
have gone over there right
completely detached
that's not healthy either
there's a third way that we probably
should interact with people's emotions
especially as followers of jesus because
this is the way that jesus modeled for
us
and that third way is not enmeshment
completely and it's not detachment
completely it's finding a healthy
differentiation
between who we are
and who they are
between our emotions
and their emotions
i care that you're going through a hard
time i care that things are happening in
your life but i'm a different person
than you
so i don't have to feel afraid if you're
afraid i don't feel angry if you're
angry i don't have to feel anxious just
because you feel anxious i am a
different person
but i am willing to
approach to an appropriate level step
into your chaos step into your anxiety
as much as i can handle and maintain my
peace
to help allow that peace to be
contagious to you and a gift to you
and so that's what we're trying to get
at is what does that level look like and
how do we practically do that
steve cuss suggests before you step into
any situation
there's probably three questions that
you should ask yourself
and this is a great test to do and again
if you're taking notes i'd write this
down if you're taking pictures i would
take a picture of the screen but this
may change how you handle thanksgiving
this year and how you handle reactions
around the room this may change how you
handle people in public but
when people are trying to project their
emotions on you or their their problems
on you or these type of things here's
the three questions that you should
probably ask yourself
in this situation what is mine to carry
what should i actually pick up and
own but let's be honest
what is theirs to carry
what's theirs they just need to own it
if you made bad decisions for a decade
and now those all caught up with you i
can't i can't act like i'm still
completely so sorry for you this is the
culmination of your decisions
and you need to see that and own your
decisions
and then that last one what is god's to
carry
because we're not just going through
this alone god is real his holy spirit
is available to us
and how does he want to interact in this
scenario
slowing a situation down
asking yourself these three questions
it may be the way
to overcome
anxiety
for the glory of god
and when you go through the bible you
see jesus do just that
in fact if you have a bible with you or
a bible app on your phone you can open
up to john chapter 8 and for the
remainder of my time i just want to read
through this account and i want to show
you one practical example where jesus
does that now there's a myriad time
myriad examples of where jesus does this
i could read all of the gospels matthew
mark luke and john and i could show you
all of these but i only have time for
one so let me just read this one and let
me show you how jesus
he doesn't get
enmeshed in this person's emotions he he
doesn't just get completely detract the
detached from their emotions
he appropriately differentiates who he
is
and what is going on
and he tells everybody what is theirs to
carry
if you have your bible open john chapter
eight this is the account of the woman
caught in adultery if you've been around
church for a while you may have heard
this account before if you're new to
church let me just read it to you so we
can understand what's happening
we'll pick up in verse 2 it says this
at dawn he talking about jesus appeared
again in the temple courts where all the
people gathered around him he sat down
to teach them
now i love just even the detail of the
bible some people have doubts is the
bible real the bible not real um
the details really
show the validity of scripture at dawn
they gather together in the temple and
it says that jesus sat down to teach
now that may sound backwards to you
because that's backwards to us right
right now you're all sitting in nice
cushy plushy seats and i'm the one
standing up here right
in first century hebrew culture it was
quite literally the opposite
if you went to temple
you would all gather it in there's no
social distancing you just get in there
and then you would just all be standing
on the floor there and then the person
who was going to teach the person of
honor they would then sit in an elevated
seat at the front of the temple to teach
what's so cool about this is early in
2017
has opportunity to go to israel
i got to go to the sea of galilee i got
to go to the city of capernaum i got to
go to a temple where jesus taught
and i literally got to see
the seat
that jesus would have sat in when he saw
taught at this temple
now that particular that is the exact uh
replica that's a replica of the rules
they still have the original seat the
original seat is in jerusalem and the
museum i saw that as well later that
trip but this is where that seat sat and
this is a replica that they put jesus
would have been right there
seated
teaching this whole group
i love that the bible gives us this
detail at dawn jesus sat and he taught
them
it goes on it says this
the teachers of the law and the
pharisees brought a woman
caught in adultery
they made her stand before the group and
they said to jesus
teacher
this woman was caught in the act of
adultery
you know what never stood out to me
honestly until i read this story this
time this account this time
i knew jesus was teaching i knew they
brought this woman caught in the act of
adultery in front of jesus
i just never stood out to me that that
first verse we just read said it was at
dawn
at dawn jesus was teaching that dawn
she's in the act of adultery
and i mean i was
what is that situation like
was that just like wild saturday night
that just like bled over into sunday
morning some of you college students you
know what i'm talking about
was she like doing the walk of shame
home dude like a hebrew walk of shame
holding her sandal just like you know
this is i don't mean this is where my
mind works but at dawn these pharisees
grab her and the act of adultery they
bring her into a church service
and they say jesus
look at this horrible person look at
this despicable woman
what do we do
it goes on it says this verse 5 it says
in the law of moses in the law moses
commands us to stone such women
now what do you say
now we're using this as a trap in order
to have a basis for accusing jesus
and then look at this last bit but jesus
bent down
and he started to write on the ground
with his finger
i love that
jesus is sitting there he's teaching
these pharisees they bring someone boom
right in the middle of the whole thing
cause a commotion throw her in front of
him look at her didn't she despicable
isn't she horrible don't we all hate her
in fact moses said that we should you
should kill someone who does something
like this jesus you're not gonna go
against moses are you
and it says that
jesus knelt down
says he started writing on the ground
now we have no idea what he wrote
every pastor who preaches this part of
the bible will tell you something
different
maybe he wrote
the sins of the pharisees
so they could see that he knew
what they were hiding
maybe you wrote
a message to the woman
telling her who she was in the eyes of
god
loved forgiven
i don't know exactly what he wrote
maybe he was just buying time
maybe he's trying to slow down a
heightened situation an emotionally
aggressive situation and maybe he was
just trying to slow down and really
consider
what's theirs to carry
what's hers to carry
what's mine to carry in this situation
we don't know what he wrote
but we know
what he said
when he stood back up from that moment
he says this to them
let any of you
who is without sin
you can cast a first don't enter
you know what's yours to carry carry
your own sin
stop worrying about what this woman is
doing look at that plank in your eye
look at what you do that's despicable in
the eyes of god you want me to put you
on blast in front of all these people
if you're without sin
then go ahead have your way otherwise
you need to worry about your own
distance from god
and it goes on
it says this
at this the two heard uh that this
those who heard and
began to go away
at the time the older ones first until
the only jesus was left with the woman
still standing there and then jesus
straightened up and he asked a woman
where are they
has no one condemned you
and then look at her
response
no one sir she said
and then jesus says you know what's mine
to carry
you know what the gods to carry
neither do i condemn you that's for me
to do
i'm supposed to show you grace
i'm not going to condemn you
john 3 16 for god so loved the world
that he gave his one and only son that
whoever believes in him will not perish
but will have eternal life and the very
next verse verse 17 says but jesus did
not come into this world to condemn it
but to save it
what's mine to carry
i don't condemn you either
but look how it ends look at that verse
again
no one searched he said then neither do
i condemn you jesus declared now watch
now go
and leave your life of sin
do you know what's yours to carry
own your sin
and allow it to break your heart
stop doing it
stop giving yourself the way to all
these guys stop cheapening yourselves i
know you want love i know you want
intimacy
you're not going to get that by giving
yourself away to every person who just
says they would like some
you're worth monogamy you're worth
commitment you're worth someone
being there for you and intimate with
you and caring for you
don't cheapen yourself
that's yours to carry
because your activities are hurting your
self-esteem
they're hurting your
true trust and identity of who you are
a child of the living god worthy of love
and grace
perfect example
just naturally what jesus did
is what psychologists are figuring out
now is the best thing to do
don't pick up other people's anxieties
just because these pharisees are angry
jesus says that that means i have to be
angry
and can i say this in the year 2021
just because a political party is angry
doesn't mean you have to be angry
just because a news anchor is angry
doesn't mean you have to be angry
there's so much anxiety in our world but
so little of it has to do
with the people that are walking next to
you
every day in your grocery stores who are
driving next to you on your road going
to work
how about we just ask ourselves
what's the government's to carry
what's mine to carry in my community as
a child of god
and what's my neighbors literally the
people around me to carry
and maybe instead of just heightening
the anxiety of everything
you and i could be instruments of above
anxiety
that can show people jesus's love and
his way in this world
i believe that'll be a powerful step
and you're gonna have an opportunity
to really put that into action this week
and we want to just come alongside you
and help you
when you came in yeah they're probably
giving like these little business cards
these little like business card things
and really all this is the card you put
in your back pocket your wallet whatever
but this is just a reminder that when
other people's anxiety starts to cause
you to well up
here's some scriptures on this card
this reminds us that god's got us
that god's above this
and that we're gonna be okay
you can look up these scriptures and
read them on your own if you if you
don't have a bible with you while you're
at thanksgiving dinner you could just
say i gotta go to the bathroom and then
scan this qr code with your phone and
just read these scriptures on your phone
but you have truth
you have power through the holy spirit
and you have an opportunity
to model a better way
if you have jesus christ as your lord
and savior
you can be above anxiety this week
and let me say this
in a room the size i know
there's many who maybe not have accepted
jesus as your savior
you've not gone public with your
confession of faith through the waters
of baptism
and maybe today
you you need that anchor that that
marker in your life
where i'm not going to be swayed by the
anxiety of this world
i'm going to give my life completely to
jesus
i'm going to go into this water and i'm
going to go under the water and that
person goes under the water that person
dies today they no longer are in control
i don't want them to be in control and
the person who comes out of that water
is now a new creation in christ
and i now will allow him
to lead my life i won't allow the
anxiety of what's around me to lead my
life
i will allow the
truth
of who jesus is
to lead my life
and i will strive daily to model that
for those i love
and who need to know that god loves them
as well
whatever your next step is we're just
going to give you some time to take it
while we have a little bit extended
worship today
would you pray with me let's pray
father i come before you and lord that
is my prayer
my prayer is that we would be men and
women father who would who would
see your peace
as you've modeled it for us
and god that we would realize
that we could go and do likewise
not perfect by our own strength but
but we could do it well because of the
strength of your holy spirit in us
so father god would you use us to be men
and women of peace
and model that for this world around us
and father for any in this room who have
not accepted you as their savior today i
pray god holy spirit
would you call them home
and i pray with their hearts be soft
enough
and humble enough
to say yes to that call
father we know this stuff is not easy to
do
but we know it's good and it's worth the
effort
so holy spirit strengthen us father
encourage us
and jesus would you be glorified by the
way that we live this week for your
kingdom
father that's my prayer
and i pray that in the name of jesus
christ
amen



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