Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Dreaded Worry


It is so easy to get wrapped up in the worries of life.  Have you ever found yourself asking these questions?

  • How am I going to pay this bill?
  • What if the car breaks down?
  • What if I lose my job?
  • Why does this always happen to me?
  • Are my kids going to be smart?
 
This list could go on and on!  There are so many things we choose to worry about.  Yes I said choose!  Just like any other sin out there worry becomes somewhat of a habit.  It is very difficult to get rid of bad habits.  So this whole thing is going to be a process.  It is not an overnight fix.  This will take a lot of hard work and prayer on your part.  Everything I'm going to talk about in this series are things I've discovered and learned about worry.  It is not any where close to a complete study on worry.  I am still learning each day how not to worry about things. 
 
So what exactly is worry?  What does the word mean?
 
According to the Strong's Concordance (3308) the word worry comes from the Greek word merimna meaning "To divide, rip or tear apart."  Think about this meaning for a moment.  When you worry your focus is torn apart.  When you worry your energy is torn apart.   Most importantly when you worry it makes it harder to concentrate on what God wants you to do. 
 
When worry consumes you there are many effects of it.  Like the other part of the meaning it "rips or tears you apart".  When you worry you might struggle with sleeping.  You will develop health issues such as stomach issues, cramps, or even ulcers.
 
The dictionary gives the definition as, "to feel distressed in the mind, be anxious, troubled, or uneasy."
 
Now lets see what Scripture says about worry.  In this series I am going over what I learned from Matthew 6:25-34.   Matthew 6 covers the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus was teaching His followers.
 
In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus told us not worry four different times.  Don't you think He was pretty serious about this?  I would say He was very serious about this.  We are NOT to worry.  Oh trust me it is much easier to say this than to actually do it.  But one thing I have realized through out this journey is that worry is a sin.  It takes my mind off of things above when I let it consume my every thought.
 
Matthew 6:25-34 says, "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body,
what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gatherer into barns;
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they? 
Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 
So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon
in all  his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 
Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is,
and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you,
O you of little faith?  Therefore do not worry, saying,
What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear?
For after all these things the Gentiles seek. 
For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
and all these things shall be added to you. 
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. 
 Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
 
I am not saying in any way shape or form not to plan out things in your life.  What I am saying is that when worry takes over your life it may be time to seek out God a little more. 
 
I will leave you for now with Philippians 4:6-7.
 
"Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus."
 
 Here Paul used the word anxious instead of worry.  He was telling the Philippians to not worry about anything!  Instead they were to commit their problems to God in prayer. 
 
When worry takes over your life I want you to ask yourself these questions:
 
(1) Are you sure you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?  If not please contact me!  I'd be happy to show you.
 
(2) List your greatest worries in life.  Now list how you respond to these worries.  How different are they from those around you who are not in a relationship with Christ?
 
(3) Take a moment to think about your prayer life.  How much time in prayer are you actually giving thanks to God?  Even if things seem really dark for you there is always something to give thanks for.
 
(4) Could you possibly pray more and worry less?
 
 
 


7 comments:

MM said...

This is a very timely article for me. I've so many problems that need resolving at present, and I've been worried. The point about worrying, ripping and tearing at our focus really resonated with me, and I think reminding myself of that will be helpful for me. Almost a month ago, I committed to praying more. I'm Catholic, and for me that meant the rosary, first once, then twice per day. This has involved contemplating the Sacred Mysteries of Jesus. I've been trying, some times more successfully than others, in not worrying. I've found prayer does help. I've made note of the scriptural readings, Matthew and Philippians and will bookmark them to turn to. Thank you.

I don't know if this is a silly question, but I'll ask it anyway.. there is thanksgiving and praising of the`Lord in prayers, and I do thank Him in my own words as well.. but I wanted to ask about praising Him more, and ask for any suggestions, or if you might write on that theme if you care to in future?

Mary

Jen said...

Mary,

Thank you for your comment. When I'm praying I make it a point to praise Him for anything and everything. The sunshine, birds chirping, my children's laughter, my husband's smile. The list could go on and on.

No question is a silly question. I will start working on a series on praising Him more. Thank you for the suggestion.

Have a great weekend. I will be praying for you.

Kristina said...

Thank you for this post. I am currently working on studying the bible every day for at least 30 minutes, and worry is a huge issue with me. With a large family, and two kids heading out for basic military training, an Aunt with cancer, a Mom with heart issues, a dad with depression, etc. etc. I can worry way too much. I do a lot of praying here.

Jen said...

Kristina,

Thank you for your comment. The reason I am doing this series is because I'm finding more and more people who struggle with worry.

I will be praying for your children, aunt, mom and your dad.

Blessings to you.

Christine said...

Jen,

You are a dear person. This is going to be a wonderful series, I can tell. Before becoming a Christian at age 31 (I'm now 48), I used to worry daily. It's amazing how much progress the Lord has made in my heart on this. Now, my worry is always short-lived or fleeting because all the scriptures I've memorized quickly drown it out. Only when my hormones do their monthly rise and fall do I feel any tidalwive of angst. Sleep and more prayer during those days help a lot.

Bless you and looking forward to reading more!

MM said...

I agree, this is a wonderful series. I told by daughter about what you'd written on worry. She's got an important job interview coming up, she got her master's degree a year ago, and still hasnt gotten a job.. well, she's still working the several part time jobs she had while in school, but it's been eating away at her. I'll wager so many people would find this helpful. Thank you, Jenn for writing it and your prayers as well. God bless you!

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

"When worry consumes you there are many effects of it. Like the other part of the meaning it "rips or tears you apart". When you worry you might struggle with sleeping. You will develop health issues such as stomach issues, cramps, or even ulcers."

This is so true. God has made me face my anxieties and he used my health to do it. Frozen shoulder, chronic neck and shoulder pain. Sleeplessness, losing waaaay too much weight. Lack of appetite. I am so thankful that He made me face some of my worst fears, even though it has been sooooo hard, because I now know how to be free from this stronghold in my life. God uses the hard things in our lives to get our attention. There are so many layers to each test he gives us. Thank you!