Worry is a killer! Literally, worry kills. It kills the spirit. It kills relationships. It kills careers. Probably worst, worry kills the body.
I have determined that worry has as at least one if its roots the thought that one could have done something else, perhaps something better. Bundled with this is the belief that this lack of doing whatever is going to be the foundation upon which someone will build a failure or a lifetime of heartache. In other words, we fear the consequences of our actions will not be the good consequences, but the worst possible outcomes our imaginations can conceive. To this end, a bit of oblivion can be our friend.But, it is neither healthy nor wise to live in the land of oblivion. There must be at least some intentionality in every aspect of our lives. A person, by necessity concern himself with the possible outcomes of his actions. Wisdom demands this. However, wisdom also demands that we realize that there are certain things which we are not capable of affecting. We must know that there is a point in time in which we have done all we can do. It is at this that worry becomes that purveyor of depression and ulcers and depression and death and other things that I could not begin to enumerate.
I am neither physician nor psychologist. I am a simple preacher of the gospel. So these words should not be substituted for getting the help that is needed. There are certainly occasions that require some of that professional intervention which God has provided. Here I simply offer some food for thought which may alleviate some of the temptation to be a chronic worrier.
- Be prepared (Yes I am in scouting). This is not to assume that we can see into the future and predict every situation. But we do know with certainty that we will face some things. The kids will move out, finances will get tight, disagreements will happen, we will have to let go of some things which are dear. Don’t let these times sneak up and take you by surprise. Make some decisions before the need arises to enact them
- Learn your limits. If you can’t fix it, or control it, or affect it in any way, accept it. Why harm yourself for something that you can do nothing about? If you are not an auto mechanic, leave the fixing of the car to them. If it is out of your hands, stop grasping for it. There is something akin to insanity in trying to affect that which you simply can’t.
- Trust other people. Don’t be one of those who live by the motto, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Most likely, there will always be someone other than you who can tackle the task. If it is their task, let them do it. Stop hovering over them. Stop second guessing them. They may even be better suited to the task than you. Let them do it.
- Trust God. OK – So I am a preacher and to that end let me just let the Bible speak here. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV). Some reading at the end of Matthew 6 would also be beneficial as well. Simply trusting God is a great way to alleviate all that useless worry.
- Remember what momma used to say. You know, she wasn’t always right or relevant. But remember what she and others said. Remember the right and keep it spread all over your circumstances. Remember what was not right to avoid out of synch as well. Learn to value what those from your past have to add to keep you out of worry land.
- Learn from others. It is not only important to hear what others have said, it is also important to see what they have done. Let’s face it plainly and clearly. People do stupid things that have undesired consequences. Instead of worrying that you will also garner those consequences, learn from them and don’t copy their behavior. But there is another side to that piece of paper. It is the side where people do great things and garner great consequences. Follow on. Learning from others will not guarantee any particular result. But it sure helps.
- Be OK with whatever you call failure. Everyone defines failure differently. Whatever you call it, determine that it will be OK if it comes. Some call this defeatism. Others simply know that one can never achieve greatness 100% of the time. Don’t let those times shatter your existence.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints — 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. NKJV
© 2014 Dr. SF Gallagher