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Forget What's Behind

Jesus' Preeminence Followership Worry

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2019-02-01

Scripture: Philippians 3:13

Author: Mitchell Dillon


As I sat on my assigned snowmobile listening to the instructor's briefing, I noticed that something was missing.  My machine didn't have a rearview mirror. As I looked around at the other students, I didn't see one on any of their machines, either.  In fact, the only snowmobile equipped with side rearview mirrors was the instructors.  When I asked the instructor the reason for this, he explained that the outfitter didn't want us to be distracted by what was behind us, but to keep our eyes on the leader.


Don’t allow what has happened in your past to distract you from following your leader, Jesus.

"...I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us" (Philippians 3:13-14). 

What Are You “Counting” On?

Faith Worry Pride

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-05-02

Scripture: Philippians 3:7

Author: Mitchell Dillon


Listening to my wife practicing counting with our two-year-old grandson conjured up an interesting thought. As she cheered when he reached 20, a big deal for his age, it occurred to me that learning how to count is not necessarily the great thing we make it out to be.  That it is, in fact, the beginning of many of our troubles.

My grandson, with his whole counting career ahead of him, will feel compelled to keep track of countless things (pun intended) during his life.  From his age and how many fingers and toes he has, he will graduate to wins and losses on the baseball field, to his grade scores and G.P.A., to his daily caloric intake, to who owes him what and how much, to all the offenses he has suffered, etc., etc.

If he becomes a writer, he’ll be concerned with how many books he sells.  If he becomes a pastor, he’ll monitor how many attend his church.  God forbid he should become an accountant!

No matter what he goes on to do, he will worry about the numbers until the day he retires. But even then he won’t retire from counting. Instead, he’ll worry about the Stock Market and how much is in his retirement account. Until the day he breathes his last breath, he will be busy worrying and counting, counting and worrying.


Here’s the problem with all of the counting we do: Beyond occasionally counting our blessings, the exercise of keeping track of the numbers in our lives is seldom an act of faith. We are so concerned about the numbers because we depend on them for our sense of accomplishment and self-worth. We keep track so we can compare ourselves with others. We also count because we think we need good numbers to justify ourselves before God.  We count out of fear, insecurity, or pride. 

We are like David, whom God warned against taking a census of the nation of Israel because He knew the king’s motives were worldly. God didn’t want David to look to, or trust in, the numbers. He wanted him, and He wants us, to look to, and to trust in Him.  The truth is, the things we can count, no matter how many of them we may accumulate, are not worthy of our trust. They do not do what we “count on them” to do.  They cannot protect us from our fears or justify us in our insecurities. All they really do is channel our faith in the wrong direction.

By contrast, if you can count up to one, that’s all the counting you need to do to put your trust in the Only Person who is worthy of your complete confidence. God is the only one who ever has or ever will protect you. Faith in God is the only justification your soul will ever find. When you put your faith where it belongs, you will stop worrying about the numbers.   

God’s grace invites you to stop counting. It calls you to be content with the person God made you to be, and with the call He has placed on your life.  It means you don’t need to compare yourself to anyone else to be a success. It means you can stand before God without fear of your failings because you’ve placed your confidence where it belongs, in the “finished” work of Christ. 

“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ” (Philippians 3:7)

Anxiety Quotes

Anxiety Quotes Anxiety Worry

Source: Various

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-06-06

Scripture: Various

Author: Various


“Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time.” [Corrie ten Boom (1892 – 11983) was a Dutch Christian who, along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II.]

“Anxiety's like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you very far.” [Jodi Picoult (1966 - ) is an American author of graphic novels and best-selling novels.]

Man… he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his ailing health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” [Dalai Lama, born Tenzin Gyatso, (1935 - ) is the current (14th) Dalai Lama, or spiritual/political leader of Tibet.]

“How can a person deal with anxiety? You might try what one fellow did. He worried so much that he decided to hire someone to do his worrying for him. He found a man who agreed to be his hired worrier for a salary of $200,000 per year. After the man accepted the job, his first question to his boss was, "Where are you going to get $200,000 per year?" To which the man responded, "That's your worry.” [Max Lucado (1955 - ) is a best-selling Christian author and writer and preacher at Oak Hills Church.]

“It’s OKAY to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.” [Mandy Hale (1980 - ) is a British actress.]

“Temperamentally anxious people can have a hard time staying motivated, period, because their intense focus on their worries distracts them from their goals.” [Winifred Gallagher is a behavior science writer.]

“Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith. I don't agree at all. They are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the Passion of Christ” [C.S. Lewis (1898 – 1963), was a novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer, and Christian apologist, best known for his works Mere Christianity and Chronicles of Narnia.]

“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” [Kahlil Gibran (1883 – 1931) was a Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer of the New York Pen League, best known for his book The Prophet.]

“I had the chance to make every possible mistake and figure out a way to recover from it. Once you realize there is life after mistakes, you gain a self-confidence that never goes away.” [Bob Schieffer (1937 - ) is an American journalist serving 23 years as anchor on the Saturday edition of CBS Evening News, served as chief Washington correspondent, and as a moderator for the show Face the Nation.]

“Though it may feel otherwise, enjoying life is no more dangerous than apprehending it with continuous anxiety and gloom.” [Alain de Botton (1969 - ) is a Swiss writer, philosopher, and television presenter who currently lives in the United Kingdom.]

“It ain't no use putting up your umbrella till it rains!” [Alice Caldwell Rice (1870 – 1942) was an American novelist.]

“It is our work to cast care, and it is God's work to take care.” [Thomas Watson (c. 1620 – 1686) was an English, Nonconformist, Puritan preacher and author.]

“Sometimes your belief system is really your fears attached to rules.” [Shannon L. Alder is an American author.]

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” [Charles Spurgeon (1834 – 1892) was a highly influential British Particular Baptist preacher known as the "Prince of Preachers.”

“Become a worry-slapper. Treat frets like mosquitoes. Do you procrastinate when a bloodsucking bug lights on your skin? 'I'll take care of it in a moment.' Of course you don't! You give the critter the slap it deserves. Be equally decisive with anxiety.” [Max Lucado (1955 - ) is a best-selling Christian author and writer and preacher at Oak Hills Church.]

“I try not to worry about the future - so I take each day just one anxiety attack at a time.” [Tom Wilson (1931 - 2011) was an American cartoonist.]

“Happiness is not a brilliant climax to years of grim struggle and anxiety. It is a long succession of little decisions simply to be happy in the moment.” [J. Donald Walters (1926 – 2013), was a disciple of the yogi Paramahansa Yogananda and was the founder of Ananda, a worldwide movement of spiritual intentional communities based on Yogananda's World Brotherhood Colonies.]

“The components of anxiety, stress, fear, and anger do not exist independently of you in the world. They simply do not exist in the physical world, even though we talk about them as if they do.” [Wayne Dyer (1940 - ) is an American psychologist, author, speaker, and radio/TV personality.]

“What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease.” [Alexander Pope (1688 - 1744) was an English poet.]

“The largest part of what we call ‘personality’ is determined by how we’ve opted to defend ourselves against anxiety and sadness.” [Alain de Botton (1969 - ) is a Swiss writer, philosopher, and television presenter who currently lives in the United Kingdom.]

“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.” [Dan Millman (1946 - ) is an American self-help author and lecturer.

“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” [Arthur Somers Roche (1883 - 1935) was an American mystery/thriller writer.]

“I am not anxious. I am just extremely well educated about all the things that can go catastrophically wrong.” [Author unknown]

“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” [Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962) was an American politician, diplomat, and activist. As the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, she was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States.

“I admit that at times my prayer for my children is nothing more than vocalized unbelief aimed at God.” [Elyse M. Fitzpatrick is an American author of more than 20 books on the Christian life and the gospel's impact on everyday living.]

“No power on earth, if it labours beneath the burden of fear, can possibly be strong enough to survive.” [Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 -43 BC) was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist.]

“Recipe for a Worry: Take one pound morbid preoccupation and mix vigorously with one cup overactive imagination. In a separate bowl, add one part hypersensitivity to three parts increased hormone activity. Fold together and let stew for hours on end.” [Emily Colas]

“God is able to give you the power to endure that which cannot be changed... Why be anxious? Come what may, God is able.” [Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement.]

“The answer to anxiety is always to exalt Christ.” [Ann Voskamp is a farmer's wife, mother, and author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.]

“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.” [John Lubbock (1834 - 1913) was a banker, politician, philanthropist, and scientist.]

“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things i n your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.” [Elizabeth Gilbert (1969 - 10 is an American author, essayist, short story writer, biographer, novelist and memoirist, best known for her work Eat, Love, Pray.]

“The best use of imagination is creativity. The worst use of imagination is anxiety.” [Deepak Chopra (1947 - ) is an Indian-born American author and public speaker who focuses on issues of alternative medicines and spirituality.]

“Anxiety Girl! Able to jump to the worst possible conclusion in a single bound!” [Author unknown]


Many of the above quotes provide their own points of application. They do not necessarily represent the views of Orthodox Christianity; neither do they necessarily represent the views of Illustration Exchange.

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-28

Scripture: Psalms 63:1

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Contributed By: Leroy Larson | Date Posted: 2015-03-06

Scripture: 1 Peter 5:7 ; Matthew 11:28

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-03-04

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Contributed By: Randal Huber | Date Posted: 2012-03-13

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Author: Randal Huber

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Contributed By: Fred Gates | Date Posted: 2012-02-08

Scripture: Matthew 6:34

Author: Fred Gates

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Worry God's Care Humor

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2012-01-08

Scripture: 1 Peter 5:7

Author: Barnett Gushin

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