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Friday
Jul082011

confessions of an over-thinker

I have a difficult time distinguishing the line between “thinking” and “overthinking”. I suppose it may be different for everyone, but I cross the line far too often. Most of the time, I wander into it rather blindly, not realizing that I’m overthinking until it has already consumed me.

What follows is never pretty, and can only be described as varying levels of anxiety (and emotion) that I battle until…well, I’m not exactly sure what really happens. Either I finally open my hands and say, “God, take this from me”; or He gets tired of watching me struggle day after day and comes to my rescue. If I wanted to over-spiritualize this struggle, I would tell you about all of the moments I freely “surrendered everything to God.” But the truth is, I think He rips a lot of things out of my clenched fists.

Many nights have been spent lying wide-awake in bed, wishing there was a switch to turn off my overthinking brain. But in the moments where our human solutions to spiritual problems are reduced to robotic coping mechanisms, God speaks to His creation about what it means to depend on Him.

Surrender looks more like a wrestling match than a baton passing, because we are people that are always trying to find security in our humanity. Therefore, the solution to not overthinking is not as simple as a switch in His kingdom. It’s a heart issue, because there are lies in my heart about what overthinking does for me.

On my worst days, I believe that overthinking will:

…make me sound smart. It will give me an identity and allow me to impress others.

…protect me from getting hurt. I can predict my emotions and avoid being too vulnerable.

…compensate for my fear of the unknown. If I can imagine every possible outcome to a conversation or situation, I will be prepared for anything.

…change a situation. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the past, if I replay a scene enough times in my head, I’ll eventually feel good about it.

…keep me from making a mistake. After all, doesn’t thinking lead to wisdom?

That last one is the most convicting, and not just because the Bible says “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” While overthinking may occasionally give you a victory point in making the “right” decision, God does not value a life that is mistake-free. He values the humility that comes from listening to the Spirit.

Our minds are too noisy because our hearts are too selfish.

Reader Comments (1)

i can tell you've been thinking about this :) good pts friend.. def. ones i need to hear

Jul 12, 2011 at 1:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterjules

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