INTRODUCTION: A popular Chinese saying: “If you don’t have anything to worry about in the distant future, you certainly have something to worry about today,” pretty much accurately describes one of the most common elements of being human: WORRY.
ELEMENTS OF WORRY:
1) What is worry? According to Rick Warren, a popular author and pastor, worry “is something you can’t get rid of your mind and it bothers you most of the time.” Worry is a feeling of uneasiness, apprehension or dread. Worry feelings are usually related to negative thought of something that may or may not happen in the future. The most common trigger is “what if”.
2) Biblical definition: The Greek word used in the New Testament is “merimnao” which means anxious, distracted, a divided mind.” Jesus used this word when He said, “do not worry about your life” Matt. ). When a person worries, he just can’t concentrate on his mind because he is distracted by what he worries.
3) Who worries? Everyone!!! No one lives without some worry. Everyone has something to worry at some point of life. Any one who claims that he has nothing to worry is in a state of denial. Children begin to worry even at 3 or 4 years old. Most of the worriers live in the future. They spend much time and energy in speculating what might happen in the future and fearing the worst.
WHY DO WE WORRY:
1) Uncertain future: Man has little control of his future. When anyone lives his life in the future instead of the present, naturally he has fear of the uncertainty, preoccupied by the painful thought of what might happen.
2) Uncertain present: Some may worry about crime, got mugged, lose a job, injured in a car accident. Others may worry about health condition. Still others may worry about how others may think of them. They will do all they can to look good to win others’ approval or respect.
3) Uncertain past: These people will worry about what they had done or decisions they had made in the past. They will worry on the outcome or results of their decisions made in the past. The worry of the past experience may hinder they ability of the present in making sound decisions especially if they had made bad decisions in the past.
4) Uncertain faith: We claim to have faith in God but are uncertain of faith and God. Either we worry the little faith on our side or how little God may do on His side.
WORRIES IN THE BIBLE: There are 2 kinds of worry in the Bible, the good and the bad.
1) The Bad worries: These are the crippling, troublesome anxieties Jesus talked about 6 times in His Sermon on the Mount. Most of these worries are about daily life and its needs. This kind of worry may erode our joy of everyday life and clip off the wings of our faith in God.
2) The good worries: Even it is the same word, but it is the genuine concern we may have about someone as Paul expressed his concern about the believers in the early churches. (2 Corinth. 11:28; Phil. 2:20) We concern because we care, not fear.
DO I WORRY TOO MUCH? The following are some of the symptoms when we worry too much:
1) Can’t sleep because we worry what may happen.
2) Lose appetite on food and feel indigestion.
3) Feel guilty and can’t relax.
4) Fear of something bad might happen.
5) Blame others for everything.
CURE OF WORRY: The cure of worry is “your choice”. While some may choose to worry, there is NO cure to them. The following are steps we may choose to remove or decrease worries.
1) Admit your human condition: Be honest that you are just human and there will be things you have NO control. We have to admit our limitation and accept the fact. Trying to think that you want to control everything will only increase your level of worry.
2) Turn your worry to God: Trusting God’s goodness, love and power as a child trusts his father. Believe in Him that He always can and will provide, protect and sustain you in all circumstances. Throw your worries to Him and let Him take care of them. Pray to Him and don’t take the worries back.
3) Talk to someone: Share your worries with some strong and matured Christians. Ask them for advice and to pray with you and for you. Learn from their experiences how to conquer worries. Seek counsel from spiritual church leaders.
CONCLUSION: King Solomon, in both the Ecclesiastics and the Proverbs, gives us a clear understanding on the uselessness of worry when he said, “What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving (worry) with which he labors under the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind doesn’t rest because he just worries too much. This is too meaningless.” (Eccl. 2:22-23)
While concern for others is a good gesture, worry serves no purpose or function in our daily life. Remember the encouragement Jesus gave to His disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled (worried). Trust in God and also trust in me.” (John 14:1)