Hot Potato

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler
2016 1 Nov

a hand throws a rock into water

Ever played the game Hot Potato? Here’s how it works. Begin by designating an item—a potato, a book, a beanbag—as the “hot potato.” Form a circle, turn on the music, and then start passing the “hot potato” around. When the music stops, whoever is holding the potato is out, and the game begins again until only one player is left.

Sometimes anxiety functions like that hot potato. We give it to each other. Peter tells us the secret of dealing with it. “Give all your worries and cares to God,” he says, “for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7). Listen to how one pastor unpacks this advice:

“Cast all your anxiety. Anxiety is not meant to be held on to. It’s not a treasure or a keepsake. Anxiety is not a bosom friend or a comfort toy. Anxiety is an enemy. It’s an enemy to a sober mind. It’s an enemy to peace. It’s an enemy to faith. Anxiety chews at the roots of the plant of faith and life until, having eaten away the root system completely, it leaves us like stalks stuffed into fertile soil but with no way of gathering nourishment and nutrients.

“Dishonest Christians pretend there is no cause for anxiety in life. They ‘keep a stiff upper lip’ and don plastic masks. Inside they’re twisted into a pretzel of worry, but their dishonesty and hypocrisy keeps them from telling others. The text simply assumes that faithful Christians living for the Lord Jesus will know anxiety in this world. All those who live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. And that persecution will give rise to anxiety, worry, and fear. But, we are to throw or cast anxiety away.”1

I might add that plenty of things in addition to persecution will give rise to our anxiety. No matter what’s causing anxiety, the point is not to throw it at each other but to cast it on the Lord, who is well able to deal with it.

1. Thabiti Anyabwile, “Care Free Christianity,”, accessed October 20,