My mind does a funny thing when it gets freaked out. It decides to take a perfectly normal situation, and come up with about seven different things that could go wrong out of it. Or it can take something someone said, something completely innocent, and turn it into five different reasons why that person hates me.
It’s classic overthinking, and it tends to happen because:
- I’m worrying about “what ifs” when I don’t need to be
- I’m taking something personally that doesn’t really have much to do with me
- I care too much about what other people think
The problems with overthinking? It’s useless, and it’s exhausting. You wear yourself out over it, and it doesn’t get you anywhere. But sometimes I really think it’s how things are supposed to be. I have to think of every possible outcome, so I’ll be prepared. I have to worry about what everyone thinks of me, so I can get everyone to like me.
However, I’m pretty sure that’s not what Jesus had in mind when he said he wanted us to “have to the full”. A full life doesn’t mean full of crippling thoughts and fear. 1 John 4:18, NIV says that “perfect love drives out fear”. The cool thing about that is that it’s not about how perfect we are – it’s how perfect God’s love is for us. We don’t have to be afraid, because we can be confident that God loves us and will take care of us.
If you have any trouble with this, like I do, here are 10 Bible verses for when you’re overthinking, to help you get back to a more peaceful, faithful place.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39, NIV
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” – Exodus 14:14, NIV
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your hearts on things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:1-2, NIV
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10, NIV
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” – Hebrews 12:1, NIV
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:33-34, NIV
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid: do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9, NIV
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7, NIV
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23, NIV
Do you have trouble with overthinking? What helps you to overcome it?
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Scriptures are quoted from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.