Book Review

Putting An X Through Anxiety

by Louie Giglio
Passion Publishing
Putting An X Through Anxiety, by Louie Giglio

In Louie Giglio’s small devotional book, Putting An X Through Anxiety, the Passion City Church pastor offers insights, anecdotes, and personal experiences to help anxiety sufferers. A friend gave me a copy a few months ago, and I’ve finally gotten around to reading it. As a devotional book, it’s intended to be read one short chapter at a time, followed by reflection. But the little book is so short that I read it all in one day, even with a busy schedule.

One thing I appreciate about this book is Giglio’s multiple reminders to get professional help. The book is full of prayers, scriptures, meditations, and practices to help people cope with anxiety, worry, and stress, but he reminds the reader that God can certainly work through a therapist or a prescription.

Putting An X Through Anxiety is a companion to Giglio’s Goliath Must Fall, in which he expands the scope of topics to cover rejection, anger, fear, and addiction. These things, along with anxiety, prevent a lot of people from reaching their potential.

Psalm 23

Louie Giglio uses one of my favorite psalms, Psalm 23, to illustrate how clinging to God, our Shepherd, makes it easier for anxiety to fall away. Noting that sheep are helpless without a shepherd, he encourages those of us who struggle with anxiety to call out to Jesus in times of need. He highlights two points from Psalm 23, verse 4:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 23:4, ESV

First, the Shepherd is with you. You are not alone. I get that you may not be able to sense or see him. But no darkness can hide his presence from you. Second, God will lead you through the valley, not just to it. Speaking for myself, I tend to despair when life feels overwhelming, even thinking that my present feelings of loneliness or anxiety are my new normal. That’s when I’ve forgotten that God is leading me through the darkness; he has not abandoned me in the valley.

Every shepherd in the time of David had a rod, a formidable staff carved out of the center of the lower part of a tree trunk. With that rod the shepherd could fight off the lion, the cougar, the wolf, or the bear. With the staff he would guide the sheep, but with the rod he would pulverize anything that tried to snatch one away.

Louie Giglio, Putting An X Through Anxiety

You are not alone

As Giglio notes in the book, the devil wants you to think you’re all alone and that you’re the only one suffering the way that you are. But that’s a lie. Jesus is with you.

The Enemy wants you to think the opposite. He wants you to feel like you are the only person alive who is in this bubble of darkness. He wants you to believe there’s no way out… no end to this misery. He’s trying to convince you right now that you will never be normal again.

Louie Giglio, Putting An X Through Anxiety

Not only did Job, Moses, Elijah, David, and Jesus experience anxiety, but so many people today do—from famous people to your own friends and family. You are not alone. As cliché as it sounds, here’s the truth: It’s okay to not be okay. But seek help, especially if you think you could be a danger to yourself or others. Even if you feel like “it’s under control” or “not that bad,” unloading those burdens with a trained professional could massively improve your outlook.


While Putting An X Through Anxiety is very short, I believe it accomplishes a purpose: to introduce anxiety sufferers to biblical comforts and methods of emotional healing. Though Giglio doesn’t devote a lot of space to professional counseling and therapeutic help, I think he effectively starts to bridge a gap that exists between anxious churchgoers and professional counseling services.

I would have liked to see tangible resources in the book, but it is very short. I can recommend this book to people suffering from anxiety, as I do myself, though I hope Giglio’s books are not treated as a singular remedy for anxiety, fear, and stress. Louie Giglio does a fine job pointing to a few notable Bible passages, but there must be more in a person’s treatment plan.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7, NIV