Choose Not to Worry

Barbara | April 16, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

image_print

By Barbara Dahlgren

One More Year of Choices…

People are natural born worrywarts. Did you know that “worrywart” is an actual word? To my way of thinking, any word with “wart” in it can’t be too good. It means: one who is inclined to worry unduly. Worry means to have mental distress or agitation from concern for something anticipated. Worry is a BIG problem. It affects our physical, mental, and spiritual health. Worry can lead to increased heart rate, insomnia, depression, exhaustion, and stress. Worry kills our peace and joy. Worry is a huge waste of time and accomplishes nothing positive.

Yet, we choose to worry. We worry about circumstances we cannot control. We worry about past decisions we cannot alter. We worry about people we cannot change. We worry about what others think of us and worry even more when we discover they haven’t been thinking about us at all. Studies show that 85 % of what we worry about never comes to pass. (The End of Stress by Don Joseph Goewey)

Jesus knew people were prone to worry so He asked a rhetorical question to keep worry in perspective: “Which one of you by worrying can add one inch to his stature?” We all know the answer. No amount of worrying can make us taller or lengthen life. However, it can rob us of sleep, health, and happiness. Worse than that, it can block us from experiencing God’s strengthening, healing, and restoration, plus it can steal our confidence and trust in God.

The Bible exhorts us not to worry. Jesus said not to worry about what we will eat, drink, or wear, because God knows our needs and will take care of us. (Matthew 6:31,32) Paul tells us not to worry about yesterday, because it’s gone, so look forward to the future. (Philippines 3:13) Although we look forward to the future, Jesus said not to worry about it because God has it all under control. (Matthew 6:34) This doesn’t mean we don’t make plans; it just means we don’t worry about them. We keep God in our planning process and gladly relinquish our grasping control to Him. We put our trust and confidence in Him – not in ourselves.

In fact, we are told not to be anxious about anything. (Philippians 4:6) Let not our hearts be troubled. (John 14:27) Do not fret. (Psalm 37:7) Fretting makes us irritable, irrational, and critical. A fretful disposition is heard in our voice tones. It’s reflected in our negative attitudes. It’s manifest in our lack of joy. Worrywarts affect not only themselves, but those around them.

Consider this… Worries are like heavy, cumbersome packages we choose to carry. God tells us to cast all our cares on Him. He will carry them for us, because He loves us. (1 Peter 5:7) God’s has us carry the light stuff, He carries the heavy. (Matthew 11:30) Worry is heavy. It weighs us down and wears us out. It tires us so much that we don’t have time or energy for the things that really matter.

What does matter? It’s often found in the midst of scriptures telling us not to worry…

“Do not worry…but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31-34)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.” A thankful prayer brings God’s peace. (Philippians 4:6,7)

“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him…Do not fret – it only cause harm.” (Psalm 37:6,7)

“Let not your heart be troubled…rejoice…” (John 14:27-28)

Those who are continually seeking God, praying thankfully, resting in the Lord, waiting patiently for Him, and rejoicing don’t really have time to worry or fret.

Suggestions for practicing this choice…

Start your day with prayer and ask God for a positive outlook.

The moment you start to worry, ask God to calm you and fill you with His peace.

Think about this quote from Winston Churchill: “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”

Meditate on scriptures. God tells us to meditate about things that are just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. (Philippians 4:8,9)

I love poetry. Here’s a little poem I read years ago. I laminated it to keep in my nightstand. When my mind starts racing at bedtime, I read it over and over again to remind me that God can take care of everything.

Tonight my soul be still and sleep

The storms are raging on God’s deep

God’s deep not thine, be still and sleep

Tonight my soul be still and sleep

God’s hand shall still the tempest’s sweep

God’s hand not thine, be still and sleep

Tonight my soul be still and sleep

God’s love be strong while night-hours creep

God’s love not thine, be still and sleep

Tonight my soul be still and sleep

God’s heaven will comfort those who weep

God’s heaven and thine, be still and sleep

~James Arnold Blaisdell

 


Comments are closed.