Are you a worrier?
I tend to balk when people tell me that I’m worrying or stressed about something. My number one defense line: someone has to think about these things; someone has to worry about these things.
Someone always has to worry.
It’s too easy to get caught up in the cares of this world. Every day, there are hundreds of choices to be made, many paths to walk down, several people to deal with, countless life-threatening diseases, growing global economy issues, and the list goes on and on. Anyone who has watched a mere ten minutes of the news knows there is plenty to worry about. Family, friends, jobs, health, economy, housing. I can almost guarantee you have a worry in one of these areas.
But here is the problem, this is the rub: when we worry, we can’t effectively reflect Christ.
Christians should be the most assured, confident, stable people on the planet because we have Jesus Christ living inside of us. We shouldn’t worry because we know that He is holding us in His hands. Christians should walk wisely in the world, not worry our way through life. Christians should use discernment, not stress over every detail.
If we aren’t careful, worry can consume our lives. Like a boa constrictor, worry wraps itself around our lives, squeezing tighter and tighter with each worry, suffocating us, sucking the life out of us. Worry can suck the joy out of every situation. Worry takes the focus off the present and puts our thoughts on the future. A lot of us worry about the “what if’s” in life. What if I don’t get married? What if I can’t have children? What if I never get the job I want? What if I get cancer? What if I have a car accident? What if my spouse dies? What if I lose my job? What if they don’t like me? What if I can’t pay my bills? What if I can’t buy the house that I want? What if my children get in with the wrong crowd?
There are millions of “what if’s” in life to worry about, and we simply can’t dwell on all of them. If we did, we would remain paralyzed with fear, unable to act, to think, to move. And that is not how Christians should live their lives. A Christian should be reflecting Jesus Christ.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7 (ESV)
The peace of God should be GUARDING our hearts and minds. I love that verse. I rejoice when I hear that verse. The Bible plainly says: DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING. Now, I’m pretty sure anything applies to everything in life, every aspect of life, every little, teeny, tiny thing that can creep up and take our attention off God.
Because that’s all worry is really. Worry is taking our attention off God and putting it on ourselves. When we worry, we think we are somehow keeping everything under control. We shift the subject of our thoughts from God to the almighty I. “I’ve got to fix this. I’ve got to make this happen. I’ve got to avoid this. I’ve got to protect this.”
But we can never keep everything under control. Only God can keep everything under control. He is God, the creator of the Universe. Pretty amazing credentials. If anyone was to going to take care of everything, I would want it to be Him.
So, if we aren’t going to worry, what are we to do in all of our spare mental time?
Read on in Philippians 4:8-9:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace with be with you.
Allow God’s peace to guard your heart and your mind. Cast all of your cares and worries onto Him. Don’t waste the life He has given to you by worrying about things you can’t control. Instead, let the Creator be in control and rejoice in His good work.
Blessings on your week.