One of the greatest areas of defeat in the Christian life is worry. Some of us are professional worry warts. I heard the story of a man named Wilbur. He is a worry wart. Someone asked Wilbur, “What if you woke up in the morning with nothing to worry about – totally carefree, content secure and happy? Wouldn’t that be great?” Wilbur replied, “Oh, if that happened I’d be worried that I had lost my mind.” For people like Wilbur there may be no cure, but there is help for most of us.
The word, “worry” means to choke. That makes sense to me. When we worry we choke our happiness, we choke our contentment and we choke our peace. It is possible to slay worry. We do not have to be a worry wart. How do we do that? I would suggest three things.
- Don’t carry the burdens of the past. In Philippians 3:13 it says, “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,” The Apostle Paul had a lot of burdens from his past. He could have been guilt ridden by all of the sins of his old life. The Apostle Paul pointed his feet forward and refused to carry the burdens of the past.
- Don’t presume the problems of tomorrow. In Matthew 6:34 it says, “So, do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” We are not to concern ourselves today about tomorrow’s problems. God is faithful to give grace sufficient for each day. We cannot store it up for the future. One man said, “Life by the mile is hardly worthwhile, but by the inch it’s a cinch.” Live today and don’t presume the problems of tomorrow.
- Act now! In II Corinthians 6:2 it says, “For He says, “At the Acceptable Time I Listened to You, And on the Day of Salvation I Helped You.” Behold, now is “The Acceptable Time,” behold, now is “The Day of Salvation.” Worry is often the cowards’ way of not dealing with things. If you have something important to do, act now. The most important decision is salvation. In this moment you can change things. You must be proactive and act now.
I want to encourage you to not become a worry wart. Yesterday is spent and tomorrow has not come yet. We can apply forgiveness to the past, faith to the future and yourself to the present.
Blessings from a recovering worry wart,
Rev. Richard Humphries
Pastoral Care & Sr. Adult Ministries