Reflections on Anxious: Choosing Faith in a World of Worry, by Amy Simpson
I am grateful to Amy Simpson for naming a pervasive thread in the consciousness of so many in the 21st Century—the worry that attends so much of our musing, deciding and imagining. She writes from a place of thorough Biblical study and deep life experience, giving her voice credibility and authenticity.
She defines worry as a practice of “indulging fear, clinging to it, feeding and serving it.” (p. 10). As she illustrates and enumerates the ways in which worry can sap the life of Christians, she is particularly helpful when she talks about the ways in which worry can infect the systems of our faith communities, thereby affecting our decision making, our vision and our caring for the world. She calls individuals and systems to repentance of the sin of worry and an expanded reliance on the work of the Holy Spirit to heal and direct. She develops broadly a scriptural basis for this stance of renewal. She then suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy can be useful for individuals in overcoming persistent anxiety.
This book will find an audience with those who recognize that for them worry in an intentional indulgence that can be overcome with prayer, maybe even therapy. But for the rest, a word of Grace and Hope will need to come from another source.