The tingling began in my foot. At first, I thought maybe I’d been sitting at my desk too long, so I walked around. My heart pounded so quickly that I thought it might burst. I rushed to urgent care where they completed an electrocardiogram (EKG) to check for heart problems.
The doctor asked questions to determine what could have triggered this episode. I described what I’d eaten for lunch — a high-sodium, fattening, but delicious meal. In fact, it was so tasty that I’d eaten the same menu item four days straight! The doctor told me that the body can have a reaction to unnatural chemicals used in food. I couldn’t believe that something I put in my body could have such a severe effect on my livelihood.
The same could be said for what we feed our spiritual selves. If we’re not careful, what we introduce can wreak havoc. In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul writes that God does not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.
If we’re not given the spirit of fear, why do we make so many fear-driven decisions? What actions can we change to fuel our faith instead? I’ve found that three essential habits that ensure a healthier physical bodywork for the spirit as well.
Watch what you eat.
Be aware of current events, but consuming bad news all day can harm your sanity and soul. Anxiety will rise and you will begin to expect the worst outcomes. Instead, surround yourself with positive people, thoughts, and words that encourage you.
Monitor your heart.
In Proverbs 4:23, the writer offers a compelling statement: Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Spend a few minutes every morning, journaling about your honest thoughts and feelings. Keeping track of what causes fear helps you better manage it.
Daily Scripture-reading, prayer, praise and quiet reflection are the core components of a faith-filled spirit. When you consistently connect with God, you will feel more empowered to act in faith. Your positive actions will lead to more progress and your eventual success.
Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT) captures this process perfectly: Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
We’re surrounded by so much fear, anxiety, and stress. Sometimes it’s not easy, but through daily practice, you won’t just change your lifestyle, but your life.
Written by: Lakeshia Poole is the author of Faith Beats Fear, a devotional and short story collection that helps people fight fear through power, love and a sound mind.