One thing that I think would be really helpful is if we stopped using non-Christian or non-Biblical terminology to describe what we’re going through. For example, we keep saying we are “obsessing.” What does that word mean? In psychological terms it means essentially that you have no control, or that your thoughts are out of our control. We are at the mercy of them. If that is true, then what’s the use?
There is one time the NJKV uses the term ‘obsessed’ and it translates a Greek word that means to have “morbid desires” (1 Tim. 6:4). If you were to say something like, “I have these morbid desires to think in certain ways.” It would be a lot easier to break out of the helpless thinking and move into the Biblical thinking that every thought can become captive to God (2 Cor 10:5). Or that our mind can be renewed and made new (Rom. 12:2). And that you can put off the old man and put on the new in the renewing of your mind (Eph. 4:23).
I looked up the word obsessing on the internet and found some really good non-Christian advice. We can see it here. But notice that there is no power in the advice. They give good advice, but nothing is mentioned about how, or with what power can we apply what they are saying.
As a Christian, we live in Christ, “in him we live and move and have our being”(Acts 17:28). As a Christian, we have been baptized into Christ (Rom. 6:3). We are wearing him (Gal. 3:27), his is in you, in a real sense you are him (Eph. 5:23). We belong to him (2 Cor. 10:7). We are not our own, we’ve been bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20).
It might be easy at this point to beat ourselves up for not seeing all this and for not believing it, or applying it consistently. But I think we should view it this way: Colossians 2:6-7 says, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” Walk in the the Bible means live, but I find it telling that the word ‘walk’ is used. It doesn’t mean live perfectly, it means live as someone who walks.
When we were little and first learning to walk, we didn’t do a very good job of it. At least at first. At first, we can’t figure it out very well at all. We see everyone around us walking. We want to join in, but our bodies just won’t do it. Then our parents grab us by the hands and hoist us up. We stagger along, tripping over everything and nothing. Then finally we can walk along holding on to the couch and various chairs, still falling on our faces every few seconds. But we continue on. Then one day running comes long and after much stumbling and falling we can finally run. And now, without ever thinking about it, we can walk and we can run (okay maybe running is still difficult). and we don’t even think about how to walk, we just do.
I’m pretty sure we don’t remember this trauma stage of our life. But I want us to notice the short people all around us. The one thing kids never complain about is learning to walk. They all just stand up, fall down, cry, and try again. No one ever says, “You know what? This walking thing is just too hard. I think I’ll stop trying.” And the reason this is so? Because we are born walkers. We walk. That’s what we do.
God is playing on this fact when he tells us to walk in faith, by faith, in Christ, in the power of the Spirit. We are walkers. We fall, we crash, we get up, we walk. Eventually, we will learn to walk in a way that we won’t remember how difficult it was at first. We’ll just walk along naturally, with a happy gait. In Christ.
So get rid of the word ‘obsess’ and replace it with sinful, doubt filled, no faith, unbelieving thinking. Confess it as sin, repent from it, and get up and walk in Jesus, with Jesus. Begin by rejoicing in the Lord and being grateful to him for making you a walker.
I hope this helps.