In today's world, struggles with anxiety seem to be reaching epidemic levels. Stress has become a normal part of life, and fear dominates the headlines on a never-ending news cycle. Now, pastor, former NCAA basketball player, radio show host, and licensed counselor David Chadwick takes on the subject firsthand. In his new book, Moving Beyond Anxiety: 12 Practical Strategies to Renew Your Mind (April 2020, Harvest House Publishers), Chadwick advocates that God's Truth is the most powerful antidote to anxiety.
Q: David, thanks for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourself: tell us a little about who you are and your current ministry.
I am the founding pastor of Moments of Hope Church in Charlotte, N.C. I've been in pastoral ministry for almost 40 years. I played basketball at the University of North Carolina under legendary coach Dean Smith. After graduation, I played in the European professional leagues for three years. Returning to the states, I earned graduate degrees in psychology and counseling from the University of Florida.
Then God's call to ministry came. I attended Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, earning MDiv and DMin degrees. I began being a pastor in 1980 till today. I have written nine books and presently host a weekly radio show on faith and values on WBT in Charlotte. I've been married almost 42 years to the love of my life, Marilynn. I have three kids and seven grandchildren.
Q: Why did you decide to write a book on overcoming anxiety?
Over a year ago my publisher asked me what I thought needed to be addressed in our culture. It was apparent to me: anxiety. It was the second major reason for teen suicide. It was the major negative emotion with which adults were dealing. With my combination of a professional counseling degree and biblical and theological training, it was apparent to us both that I needed to write this book.
Q: As a licensed counselor, what do you see as the common denominator for people who experience intense feelings of anxiety?
They have focused their mind on the size of the problem, not the size of their God. Their thought life is fixed on the anxious thought, experience, and/or information.. The more the mind thinks on the issue, the larger it becomes. Bottom line: You are what you think. Generally, anxious people have a thought life focused on problems.
Q: What is your advice to people who feel trapped in a cycle of anxiety and fear?
Change the way you think. Paul in Romans 12:2: Be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Be very careful about what you are putting in your mind. Stop spending so much time on social media, comparing your insides with someone else's outsides. Stop watching violent and gross images on TV. Retrain your brain. Practice my 12 spiritual disciplines in my book for how to refocus your thought life on a great faith in God and not the problem.
Q: What is the role of God and the Gospel in our battle against anxiety?
Essential. Faith in God is bigger than the problem you are facing. Instead of focusing on the size of your problem, focus on the size of your God. Believe the gospel. Preach it to yourself. What does the gospel mean? -You have the gift of eternal life. Why be anxious about death? -You are not your own but bought with a price. You are owned by Jesus. Why be afraid? -Your identity is found in Jesus. You are his child. Will he not care for you? As he does the lilies and the birds but even more so---Matthew 6:25
Q: What do you want readers to find when they read this book?
That there are some practical steps you can choose to do to combat anxiety. 12 understandable, easy disciplines you can do to overcome anxiety. You don't have to live in fear. God is with you! God is in you! God goes before you! God watches over you! If you REALLY believe this, anxiety should flee.
Q: What encouragement do you have to share with readers facing anxiety?
I have seen these principles work in my own life, my wife's and my kids to defeat anxiety and the lives of countless others. They do work. It takes some serious discipline, but you can train your brain to think differently. You choose where your thoughts focus.
Moving Beyond Anxiety: 12 Practical Strategies to Renew Your Mind by David Chadwick is available now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Lifeway, or anywhere you find great books. https://www.movingbeyondanxiety.com