I have a doctor friend that once explained to me that the human body is not designed to handle worry and stress. He cited an assortment of diseases of the heart, stomach, and skin that can be the body’s warning signs. Yet we worry.
I recently took an informal poll of friends at church and strangers in a store, and I found the usual laundry list of things that burden our minds. We worry about health, finances, and relationships in the past, present, or future. We worry about things near (driver’s license) and far (global politics and economics).
The Bible has much to say about the world as we experience it, and worry is no exception. The Biblical word for worry is literally a ‘divided mind.’ Max Lucado writes, “Anxiety splits our energy between today’s priorities and tomorrow’s problems. Part of our mind is on the now; the rest is on the not yet, the result is half-minded living.”
So to that end, I offer five ways to become ‘whole-minded.’ Jesus said it much better as recorded in Matthew 6, and I urge you to read it for yourself.
1. Understand what life is. It is more than human needs. Embrace difficulty as an opportunity to persevere and succeed. Our character and convictions are forged in the fires of trials, which make us who we are.
2. Realize your value. You are made in the image of God, and are an expression of his loving, creative touch. Even if you don’t think He exists, He loves and values you. Surely, then, you do not walk alone.
3. Stop controlling. Yeah, everybody knows a control freak, but this is not about them, but you! Worry does not add to your life or solve problems, but it certainly takes something out of you and makes things worse. Some things are simply beyond your means to control, so in the lyrics of that Frozen movie, ‘Let it go’!
4. Live in today. Each day has enough cares of its own. There are too many things that can change by tomorrow whether you worried about it or not. Do what’s in your means to do now.
5. Trust God. Worry and trust are awkward companions. Trust cannot demand that God be your fixer, but it does accept that He is near and personal. He may not move the mountain but will walk with you over it. Seeking God and pondering the treasures in his Word leave little room for worry.
Don’t be that jokester that says, “Worrying must work for me! Most of the things I worry about never happen!” Stuff happens, but don’t make yourself sick worrying about it.