Worry. It doesn’t sound like that bad of a word, does it? We often talk about worry as if it’s a regular thing – something we all do. I’m worried about how today’s meeting will go. I’m worried about what the doctor will say. I’m worried what people will think of me. I worry how it will turn out. I worry about you. This sounds pretty normal, but in reality these statements and feelings of worry are incredibly destructive. On top of that, they are breaking one of the most frequent commands we are given in the Bible – Do not worry.
The Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines the act of worrying as, “To seize by the throat with teeth and shake or mangle, as one animal does another, or to harass by repeated biting and snapping.”(1) That does not sound normal; but it does sound accurate. By taking a look at what worry does and does not do, I think you’ll agree with this definition.
- Worry keeps the focus on the mess.
- Worry never leads to a solution.
- Worry opposes peace.
- Worry causes you to focus only on what may happen.
- Worry never makes you feel assured. It focuses only on the possible negative outcomes.
- Worry leads to anxiety.
- Worry causes your heart to pound more quickly.
- Worry makes restful sleep less likely.
- Worry is paralyzing.
- Worry means…you are not trusting the Lord.
As you can see, there is absolutely no benefit to worry. As a matter of fact, worry destroys. Take notice of worry and stop it in its tracks!
When you feel the initial indications of worry, stop that thought of worry in your mind and say to yourself, This worry is not a true statement. It focuses only the possible negative outcome, so I will think about and focus on the possible positive outcomes. Also, remember that God loves you more than you can even measure, so no matter what happens, He can make it work for good. Below are some Scriptures to memorize and be ready to quote when you begin to worry.
I Peter 5:7 – Casting all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.
Philippians 4:8 – Whatever things are true…whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.
Luke 12:6-8 – Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
John 10:10 – I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God.
Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.
God gave us a mind that He allows us to use freely. He gave us the ability to control our thoughts and to use them for good. Take control of your thoughts (see 2 Corinthians 10:5), so you are able to overcome worry and experience great victory as you encounter battles in life.
(1) The Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd ed. (New York: Random House, 1993), s.v. “worry.”