Here are 3 signs God is saying, “Stop overthinking.”
1. If You Are Making Yourself Sick By Thinking About Things that Have Already Happened, This Is a Sign God Is Saying, “Stop Overthinking”
I recently listened to an interview by a man who worked for a billionaire CEO. Upon being hired, he was in awe of his new boss. But there was a problem: the boss was very unimpressed with the work this man was producing.
After another poor presentation that this man gave in the boss’s office, the billionaire CEO told the man he had one more chance to do better or else he was fired. In a rush, the CEO called another employee who worked at his company to help this new employee improve. The CEO then kicked this man out of his office and told him to go see this other employee immediately.
But since this man had just given a presentation in his boss’s office, he had to gather his belongings and his computer that was hooked up to the projector. This delay made CEO furious and he began rushing the man to get out. In his haste, the man accidentally grabbed the wrong computer. Once the CEO realized his computer was missing, he immediately called the police, supposing that this man who was about to get fired stole his computer to steal valuable information that he could sell to his competitors. Fortunately, the matter was cleared up and CEO believed the man that it was simply a mistake made because the man was rushing to leave his office.
What’s the point of this story? When our minds are consumed with thoughts about what someone else thinks about us, it’s very easy to make really simple mistakes. Too many thoughts about something that has happened in the past actually prevents us from thinking at all about the present, which results in more problems occurring.
Life is meant to be lived, not over analyzed. Sure, learn from mistakes. Take some time to reflect on what happens so you can make even better decision in the future. But we can literally make ourselves sick by constantly second guessing everything that we have already lived through. Once it’s in the past, there’s nothing more you can do except cause yourself anxiety and unneeded stress:
- “I wonder if that person realized I was joking? Perhaps they are mad at me now?”
- “I wonder what that person meant by that statement?”
- “Were they making fun of me or were they just goofing around?”
In a way, we are often betrayers of our former selves. It’s easy to look back and judge what we did, but we should be compassionate towards ourselves in the past, knowing we did our best then and we will try to do even better in the future.
After repenting of sins, reflecting a bit to learn valuable lessons (1 Corinthians 15:9), it’s then time to stop overthinking and move forward with the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:10).
2. If You Are Paralyzed in Perpetual Thinking About Future Fears Outside of Your Control, God Is Saying, “Stop Overthinking”
Just as thinking about the past can paralyze us from living, so too can overthinking about the future. Let’s remind ourselves of the words of our Lord in Matthew 6:31-34, which state:
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Life really is dangerous. Trouble really does lie ahead. But we must also accept that all we can do is address the problems of today. Thinking too much about all the issues that could happen will simply rob you of the joy God wants to give you right now.
3. If You Are Always Looking Inward Instead of Upward, God Is Saying, “Stop Overthinking”
In Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s book called Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure, he talks about how self-analyzation is one of the main ways Christians become depressed. When talking about the cure, he references 2 Timothy 1:7, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” He then writes:
There is only one way to get rid of self, and that is that you should become so absorbed in someone or something else that you have no time to think about yourself. Thank God, the Spirit of God makes that possible. He is not only ‘the spirit of power’, but He is also ‘the spirit of love’. . . ‘The spirit of love!’ It will deliver you from self-interest, self-concern, and from depression about self, because depression results from self and self-concern. It gets rid of self at all points.”
The secret to joy found in Christianity is that, ironically, the more you lose yourself in serving God and others, the more you find yourself. The more you die to self, the more alive you become.
If you have become joyless and stressed through too much self-analyzing, God is saying, “Stop overthinking.”