18 Well-Meaning Phrases That Can Frustrate Anxious Christian

SharePinEmailWhether you’re going through a tough time or have a mental health issue, Christians often hear common phrases that can feel as if their experience is being downplayed. Although people may be well-meaning, these “innocent” remarks can be frustrating or hurtful, particularly if they are unsolicited.  “Everything Happens for a Reason” Most of us have…

Whether you’re going through a tough time or have a mental health issue, Christians often hear common phrases that can feel as if their experience is being downplayed. Although people may be well-meaning, these “innocent” remarks can be frustrating or hurtful, particularly if they are unsolicited. 

“Everything Happens for a Reason”

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Most of us have shared this platitude when we want to reassure someone, but it does not help us deal with life’s most challenging moments. We need to remember to show greater empathy and remember that not every event is divinely engineered. 

“Give it Over to God”

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Your faith in God’s love can be crucial when you’re having an anxious moment, but this unsolicited advice often oversimplifies managing mental health issues. There are occasions when even with the greatest faith, you may need to seek professional help. Addressing a mental health challenge often requires combining medical assistance and spiritual guidance. 

“Pray About It”

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While speaking to God can be comforting, prayer is a supplement to tackling an issue that is bothering you. Having the courage to discuss the issue with your healthcare professional could be God’s guiding hand. 

“You Wouldn’t Have Anxiety If You Truly Believed”

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This is never a helpful comment as it is a criticism of your faith and belief. It is far more Christian to have empathy and as Anthem of Hope reports, 65% of church attendees who have family members with mental health struggles seek open conversations within their communities.

“Feeling Anxious is a Sin”

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There is a misunderstanding that anxiety is a sin, but Jesus understood and empathized with our challenges. If you read the Bible, you’ll find many passages that can offer comfort for those struggling with anxiety. Anxiety is a complex issue and oversimplifying it to being a sin is not helpful for anyone. 

“God Works in Mysterious Ways”

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This is another common platitude that people often say when they are struggling to comprehend someone else’s difficulties. This catch-all phrase doesn’t apply to all situations. For example, according to research from before the 2020 pandemic, 54% of practicing Christians had experienced at least one emotional or relational mental health issue that impacted their relationship. 

“Anxiety is a Punishment for the Sin of Worrying”

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This unhelpful comment is very judgmental and misguidedly blames those who are already struggling. Anxiety should be viewed through a lens of empathy and understanding rather than judging those who are experiencing it. 

“Just Let It Go”

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This isn’t as straightforward as it seems. While it is admirable to let your issues go and allow God to guide you, this is one of the most significant challenges of life. This process of releasing control takes patience, time, and lots of effort.

“You’re Being Selfish”

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Labeling those who are having anxiety issues as selfish is critical and judgmental. It goes against Jesus’ teachings of love and compassion. Anxiety is a nuanced condition that requires empathy and support rather than misunderstanding or judgment. 

“Confess Your Sins”

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It can be challenging to narrow down a specific sin that is making you feel depressed or anxious. Although obvious sins should be addressed, everyone sins but not everyone struggles with anxiety or depression. Typically those who are struggling with mental health issues are already aware of any shortcomings, so try to offer support and understanding. 

“Think Positive”

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While being positive is the aim of many Bible lessons, when you’re struggling with a mental health issue, it can be challenging to ignore the negative thoughts. Asking someone to “think positive” is like asking them to try to flip a switch, which is a massive challenge. 

“God Won’t Give More Than You Can Handle”

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This platitude is derived from 1 Corinthians 10:13, but as a glib comment, it can unintentionally compound anxiety struggles. According to Gallup research, approximately one in six American adults who identify as highly religious have experienced depression at some point in their lives. While this is less than their moderately religious or non-religious counterparts, it is still a significant portion of the Christian community. 

“Trust in God and you Won’t Need Medication or a Therapist”

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Medication and mental health professionals play a significant role in dealing with mental health issues. Seeking help and taking medication will not diminish your faith, but can enhance your overall well-being. It is possible to integrate medical intervention and faith into your life to manage your mental health. 

“Snap Out of It”

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Although it can be frustrating to try to help someone struggling with mental health issues, it is not something that the person can simply snap out of. Those with mental health challenges don’t enjoy feeling that way, so try to keep your frustration to yourself. 

“Get Some Meds”

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On the other side of the argument, you may find people advising you to just get some meds. But the use of drugs needs to be carefully contemplated. You must discuss with your healthcare professional a strategy and clear plan of how the drugs can form part of your treatment plan. 

“Count Your Blessings”

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Gratitude is a crucial aspect of Christianity, but sometimes this platitude is just thrown out there. It can be used to brush aside genuine hardship and pain rather than recognizing a person who needs help and support. 

“Have Faith”

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Another common platitude is to simply “have faith,” but faith isn’t a magic cure that makes problems immediately vanish. Faith is a deep connection with God and often forms part of a lifelong journey. Though trying to maintain your faith when going through a tough time is a good idea, it is important to recognize that it can also be challenging.

Silence

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Okay, so this isn’t a platitude, but it is a common response for people struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenges. When you’re part of a community that is built on principles of love and empathy, receiving only silence when you’re having difficulties could be heartbreaking. Silence can lead to people feeling more isolated when they need the most support. 

Although it can sometimes be difficult to know what to say, expressing your love is likely to be well received. 

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