Thoughts…. Friends or Foe?Written by Dr Michelle Strydom
This week we continue to look at Dr Michelle Strydom’s insights on the relationship between ‘toxic thinking’ and illness and how worry can detrimentally affect our blood pressure.
According to Dr Strydom, high blood pressure can arise as a complication from other diseases, but the primary disease called Hypertension specifically fits the profile of someone who has a lot of stressful thoughts and focuses a great deal of attention on them.
In scripture, Jesus said “Do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own” Matt 6:24.
Often the fear of the future that causes high blood pressure. Do you ever feel like you are stressed, worried or concerned about something and you cannot seem to stop fretting over it? I know my thoughts can make me very anxious. In fact, the old saying “with friends like these, who needs enemies” could apply to my own thoughts more often than I’d like to admit. Sometimes my thoughts can really sound like an attack by an enemy; but while other enemies attack me from outside myself, my thoughts attack me from inside my own mind, making me feel anxious, full of fear and concerned.
Where did those toxic disease-making thoughts of fear come from? Who taught us to be anxious and to worry about what could go wrong tomorrow? Dr Strydom once again reminds us that these thoughts are not originally our own. They came from the spiritual realm described in Ephesians 6:12:
“For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers of darkness and spiritual forces of wickedness in the Heavenly (supernatural) sphere.”
Scripture clearly teaches that we have an enemy and he wants to deceive us and to tempt us to worry and speculate about what could go wrong in the future. Cleverly, he gives us those thoughts in the first person, for example, “I am so stressed because I don’t think that I am going to have enough money at the end of the month! I’m so worried because I don’t know how I am going to pay the rent, etc.” Because those thoughts came in the first person we think that they are our thoughts and feelings.
And so, we follow that way of thinking as if it was ours and we become fearful, anxious, worried and stressed. However, all along, it is the enemy who is training our thought life to be afraid and to worry, all just to violate that one Scripture in Matthew 6:34 where Jesus said to give no thought for tomorrow. Jesus said, “Do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own” Matt 6:24 and often the fear of the future that causes high blood pressure is related to finances.
Therefore, in my own case, I see the need to bring my own thinking into line with God’s word, but sometimes because I have developed such a pattern of thinking it has become hard to break free. I have sometimes needed help as I learn to change my thinking patterns that have been built over many years. The bible encourages us to ‘bear one another’s burdens’ and I have found that wise, Godly counsel has helped me more than once to overcome worry and anxiety.
It can be very helpful to call on a counsellor to help you work through issues of stress, anxiety, worry or a very negative thought life. I do know from personal experience that as I have followed this advice and really given my cares and concerns to Jesus, I now have a peace that gets me through the tough situations and the normal stresses of my life and my own blood pressure and general health have improved markedly. So, let’s take this advice to heart and decide not to worry, but to take our Maker’s advice and cast our cares on Him before toxic thinking robs us of our health.
The Sanctuary Team