Endorsements for Anxious:
“Amy Simpson challenges our popular approaches to worry. Many of us believe worrying isn’t a problem for us; she helps us realize that it is. We often believe we can overcome worry through willpower or good behavior. She helps us understand that it’s far more effective to address worry as a problem with the way we think, rooted in what we believe about God. Here’s the good news: there is hope for all of us worried people, and it’s found in faith.”
–Anita Lustrea, host of Midday Connection, speaker and author of What Women Tell Me
“Amy Simpson tells us that worry ought not keep us up at night, but this page-turner will! As fascinating as it is funny, as convicting as it is clever, Anxious gives us a gander into Jesus’ mind and what he must’ve been thinking when he said, ‘Do not worry.’ Do not miss this terrific book.”
–Caryn Rivadeneira, author of Broke: What Financial Desperation Revealed About God’s Abundance
“Worry disorients us. Anxiety can paralyze us. In Anxious Amy Simpson gives us a God’s-eye-view of the world, demonstrating that worry and anxiety are foreign to life in the kingdom. This will be a book to which I will return when I need encouragement to trust God. Anxious reorients us to God and his perspective in Scripture, bringing peace to a knotted soul.”
–Marlena Graves, author, A Beautiful Disaster: Finding Hope in the Midst of Brokenness
Our culture is frantic with worry. We stress over circumstances we can’t control, we talk about what’s keeping us up at night and we wring our hands over the fate of disadvantaged people all over the world, almost as if to show we care and that we have big things to care about. Worry is part of our culture, an expectation of responsible people. And sadly, Christians are no different.
But we are called to live and think differently from the worried world around us. The fact is, worry is sin, but we don’t seem to take it seriously. It is a spiritual problem, which ultimately cannot be overcome with sheer willpower–its solution is rooted entirely in who God is.
How can we live life abundantly, with joy, as God has called us to do, when we’re consumed by anxiety? We are commanded not to worry, not only in the well-known words of Jesus recorded in Matthew 6, but also throughout the Old Testament and the epistles to the church. The Bible makes it clear that the future belongs only to God, who rules and is not subject to the limitations of time. To live with joy and contentment, trusting God with the present and the future, is a countercultural feat that can be accomplished only through him.
Challenging the idolatrous underpinnings of worry, former Christianity Today executive Amy Simpson encourages us to root our faith in who God is, not in our own will power. We don’t often give much thought to why worry offends God, but indulging anxiety binds us to mere possibilities and blinds us to the truth. Correctly understanding the theology of worry is critical to true transformation. This is a book not just for people who worry; this is a call to the church to turn its eyes from the things of earth and fix its eyes on the author and completer of our faith.
Mental illness is the sort of thing we don’t like to talk about. It doesn’t reduce nicely to simple solutions and happy outcomes. So instead, too often we reduce people who are mentally ill to caricatures and ghosts, and simply pretend they don’t exist. They do exist, however–statistics suggest that one in four people suffer from some kind of mental illness. And then there’s their friends and family members, who bear their own scars and anxious thoughts, and who see no safe place to talk about the impact of mental illness on their lives and their loved ones. Many of these people are sitting in churches week after week, suffering in stigmatized silence.
In Troubled Minds Amy Simpson, whose family knows the trauma and bewilderment of mental illness, reminds us that people with mental illness are our neighbors and our brothers and sisters in Christ, and she shows us the path to loving them well and becoming a church that loves God with whole hearts and whole souls, with the strength we have and with minds that are whole as well as minds that are troubled.
© 2012 Amy Simpson.