Worry
July 08, 2011


Worry

 

Frank used to worry about everything – his marriage, his family, his job, his finances, his health, his reputation. You name it, Frank worried about it. One day Frank came downstairs with a big smile on his face, he was whistling a happy tune and seemed not to have a care in the world. “I’m never going to worry again” Frank said to his wife.  “Last night I hired a man to do all my worrying for me”  “How much is he charging you?” asked his wife.  “£1,000 a week” answered Frank.   “How on earth are you going to be able to afford that?” said his wife   “Well, that’s HIS  worry” said Frank.

 

Several weeks ago in this column I wrote about the subject of depression. This week I want to deal with what I would describe as the Siamese twin of depression – Worry.

 

Like many people I used to worry about things. In fact I used to worry about almost everything.  If the Olympic Games had a competition for worrying I am pretty certain I would have won the gold medal.  Now, however, I worry about very little.

 

What is worry?  Worry is being overly concerned about the future; about things that have not yet happened and in many cases, things that might never happen. The worrier, as he / she thinks about what might happen in any given situation, tends to paint a worse case scenario and then goes over it again and again in their mind either trying to work out how they will deal with that situation if it arises or (more usually) working themselves up into a state of distress because they feel they wont be able to deal with it. The motto of the National Worriers Association is “What If…?”  (By the way there is no such association so don’t be looking for it in the Yellow Pages!!!).

 

I used to worry myself sick about what would happen if I lost my job; What if I could no longer provide for my family: What if  I wasn’t able to pay the bills; What if the bank repossessed our house and we had nowhere to live; What if my depression never lifted?  Thankfully, in different ways, God taught me that It was wrong to worry, that I was doing myself harm by worrying and, most importantly, I didn’t need to worry.

 

In Matthew 6v25-34 Jesus teaches us that we should not worry because God, our Heavenly Father, who is in complete control of our lives, will care for us and provide for us. He concludes his teaching by saying “therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”   Jesus is here teaching us that we should deal with one day at a time and not allow our minds to be consumed with what might happen tomorrow, or the next day or the next.  Worry focuses on tomorrow.  We have no control over tomorrow. By the time tomorrow comes things may be very different from today. Instead of focusing our thoughts on tomorrow and what might be, Jesus tells us we are to think about and apply ourselves to what is actually happening in our lives today.  Taking things one day at a time will reduce our worrying considerably.

 

In another passage in the Bible the Apostle Paul encourages Christians not to worry, writing, “do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God and the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Paul is reminding these believers that they are to be anxious about nothing because they can pray about everything. They have a heavenly Father to whom they can bring all their concerns.  The Psalmist says “Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you.”  (Psalm 55v22).

 

One renowned Christian Counsellor gives the following advice for dealing with worry.  Focus your concerns on today;  Work on today’s tasks;  Don’t allow problems to mount up; Pray about your concerns; Seek God’s solutions to your concerns;  Deal with your concerns in God’s way; 

 

Having followed this advice and having learned through personal experience over many years, in many different and difficult circumstances that I can trust God completely to care for me, meet my needs and lovingly deal with all my concerns I now have to admit that It is highly unlikely that I will ever win a Gold medal for worrying. In fact I don’t even think I would get through the qualifying rounds.  I can live with that !!

 

(A CD of a sermon on the subject of “Worry” is freely available by contacting Rev Robb. Tel 07518020228 or email revrobbrp@hotmail.com)

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