Anxiety is contagious. Perhaps there is such a thing as a mental germ of fear that infects our minds just as a physical germ infects the body. If so, this mental germ is a thing of thought. It is a mental and emotional attitude. It is a way of thinking.
We are told that we can acquire an anxiety complex by listening to those who are anxious. They also tell us that people who are anxious should have someone to talk over their anxiety with, someone they can unload it on. Otherwise, the anxiety piles up in the mind until it finally becomes unendurable. Perhaps this is why the Bible tells us to confess our sins to one another, always, of course, remembering that the original meaning of the word “sin” is making a mistake, or missing the mark. And surely anxiety is a mistake, for it is missing the mark of happiness.
All anxiety is based on a feeling of insecurity. Jesus said that we should take no anxious thought for tomorrow, but live in such complete faith today that tomorrow will take care of itself. Perhaps if we were to follow the teaching of Jesus we would be relieved of most of the strain of living. He knew a great deal more about these things than we do, and he told us of a friend in whom we may confide, who will share all our burdens and finally lift us out of unhappiness and fear.
Jesus called this friend “our Father which art in heaven” – not just your Father and my Father, but our Father, everybody’s Father, the Father of us all, the Spirit that is over all in all and through all, and closer to us than our very breath. Didn’t he say that God is in heaven and heaven is right where you are, within and around you?
We all need a friend, one upon whom we may rely, one who will always be there. We need a friend whose wisdom is great, in whom we may have implicit confidence, and one who will never let us down. This Thing Called Life had this all figured out long before you and I were born and it implanted a spiritual self within each one of us, the real you. This friend is always with you, goes wherever you go, knows everything you think and can answer your every need. It isn’t necessary to be anxious at all. It isn’t necessary to be afraid of anything.
And now let’s look at this proposition from another angle. If anxiety is contagious and can produce all kinds of unhappy results, why won’t an opposite mental attitude produce an opposite result? In other words, faith alone can heal fear, just as love alone can erase hate.