You cannot grow in [faith] without a strong tolerance for ambiguity, an ability to allow, forgive, and contain a certain degree of anxiety, and a willingness to not know—and not even need to know. 

— Richard Rohr

If a person has a type of anxiety that can be fixed by prayer and other overtly spiritual activities, they probably don’t have a very clinically significant anxiety at all.

Most of the time, the spiritual activities people with clinically significant anxiety do to deal with their anxiety stem from the anxiety itself. They are forms of self-medication, actual functions of the illness. They are not so much “choosing” to do these things, but driven to them by the lack of other, more effective, options. Once people get the treatment they need (therapy, medication, often both is most effective), they can then make choices to do their spiritual activities rather than those activities coming out of the anxiety to begin with.

David Flowers
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When you talk to true combat veterans very few remain “Gung-Ho” after seeing combat…they carry tremendous guilt even though many times there was no choice to their actions…killing ALWAYS damages the person doing the killing .

It’s the same with hatred and anger…it will consume your life if you let it…even if you were a victim and have every right to your anger…at some point you have to decide that the way to a peaceful life…a life of true meaning and rich experiences is love and forgiveness….not hatred and anger. It’s just the way it is. That’s nature (I believe divine nature). It does not matter if we/you believe it….it is TRUE…it is the way we are built.

“You cannot break the laws of nature….you can only break yourself against them.”

If somebody claims that you have to take the Bible literally, word for word, or not at all, ask him if you have to take John the Baptist literally when he calls Jesus the Lamb of God.

If somebody claims that no rational person can take a book seriously which assumes that the world was created in six days and man in an afternoon, ask him if he can take Shakespeare seriously whose scientific knowledge would have sent a third-grader into peals of laughter…

Finally this. If you look at a window, you see fly-specks, dust, the crack where Junior’s Frisbee hit it. If you look through a window, you see the world beyond.

Something like this is the difference between those who see the Bible as a Holy Bore and those who see it as the Word of God which speaks out of the depths of an almost unimaginable past into the depths of ourselves.

Frederick Buechner
Originally published in Wishful Thinking