I’ve been following Steven Furtick, the lead Pastor of Elevation Church for quite some time. He has written sermons that have completely shifted my outlook on everyday experiences of life. He’s an incredible leader from afar and has challenged me to grow and also to continue to understand God’s word. The particular sermon that has impacted me the most focuses on anxiety; something that we unfortunately see so much of today. His guidance is very practical in providing awareness to why we might be anxious. In his talk, he encourages us to look at the acts of our everyday life and adjust some of the things that we are doing that could be increasing our own anxiety.
Here are the 7 things he encourages us to consider:
Check Your Intake – What are you allowing into your mind that may be adding to your anxiety? After asking myself this question, I took an inventory of my daily practice. Some of the things that I was allowing into my mental space was actually adding to an anxious feeling in my soul without me even knowing it. I used to LOVE watching Vanderpump Rules. I don’t have any drama in my life, so the drama of 35 year old waiters was crazy entertaining for me. It provided me with absolutely ZERO VALUE, so I had to give it up. I also had to re-evaluate all the other traffic traveling through my mind. It’s time for you to take an inventory – ask yourself, “Is this building, or is this breaking?” We will not have peace, until we make a space for it.
Imbalance – Remember this – No is a full sentence. Are you giving weight to the wrong things? Are you saying yes, when you really mean no? Tim Ferris says, “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no!” I’m still really learning this one. I’m such a yes person, that sometimes I overcommit to things that I don’t necessarily have an interest in, just to ensure I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. (Triggers anxiety, right?) But a half-ass yes, is more hurtful than a no. Say yes to what’s important and remember that saying no is okay. You get to decide where you commit, and where you decline.
Indecision Is A Prison – DO IT, OR DON’T. Sometimes, all of the options that we have can lead to anxiety. In this portion of the message, he tackles all of the ways the world presents indecision through options. He challenges us to sit down and make three decisions we have been putting off THIS WEEK.
Integrity – The word integrity means whole. I can easily compartmentalize my life, if I’m not paying close attention. I can be one person at work, one person at home, one person with my family, and one person alone. What I am becoming more aware of, is that my method of interaction can and will differ, but who I am at my core always remains the same. This begins first with knowing who you are and being comfortable with who you are. I can proudly say that over the last year, I have grown so much as a person. My ability to be steadfast in my interactions is becoming easier and easier. If this is something you can relate to, be patient with yourself, but you must take the time to ask yourself, Who am I?
Intention – Fix your intentions. I’ve talked about this before; I can get so caught up in the opinions of others, that it inhibits my ability to move forward. I am constantly reminding myself to flip the script. My intention is to serve, not to please. I know that I am not going to please everyone, but If I can show up and serve one person through my content, I am accomplishing my mission. If we can get out of our own heads and see things from God’s point of view, instead of dress rehearsing people’s opinions, we will be successful.
Take Back Your Imagination – This is my mission for 2021! I am the biggest dreamer in the world and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. This year, I am focusing on the things that I love. I’m letting go of worry, I’m letting go of fear. I’m embracing joy, I’m embracing my imagination, I’m embracing my creativity. I challenge you to do the same. What would you love? What are your dreams? Who were you before you let someone steal your imagination? It’s time to take that person back. (Learn how I discovered my Big Ass Dreams here.)
Isolation – I can easily try to fight my battles alone. Part of my purpose with Worthy is that we would build a community here. Sometimes, all we need is someone to look at us and say, “Me too. I’ve been there too. You’re not alone. It’s not just you.” We were not meant to isolate. We were meant to integrate. Promise me today, if there’s something that you’re struggling with, you won’t go at it alone. We were not created for that.
You can watch Steven’s message here!
Remember always – YOU ARE WORTHY.