Worry: A Complete Waste of Time!

by Lester Young

Have you ever stopped to consider just how productive ‘worry’ really is? I mean, right in the middle of a bout, simply pausing for a few moments, taking honest stock of yourself and exactly what you’re doing, and actually determining truthfully what’s being accomplished? I think that if we did, we’d all be just a little less prone to give in the next time an opportunity for it came up. (Actually, we’re told in Luke 12:25-26 exactly how much good it does.)

Now, don’t get me wrong; I know that ‘not worrying’ is easier said than done. But, isn’t everything – at least, in the beginning? Isn’t riding a bike, or driving a car, or doing algebra, or cooking reasonably edible rice, or pretty much any other activity quite difficult when you first try it? But, as you learn to do it and practice more and more, it invariably gets easier and easier – until you finally get to the point of mastery, of being an expert at it.

Worry is no different. It’s an acquired habit. None of us were born with a worried look on our faces, fearful of what the economy or the stock market might do the next week. We learned that stuff. (Of course, some may have been exposed to and/or inundated with the concept much earlier than others – such as those who come from a long familial line of ‘professional’ worriers.) No, that pained and harried face we were brought in with was fully a function of the trip we’d just made, and the physical punishment we were greeted with just for having the nerve to show up. But I digress…

So, then, if worry can be learned, it can just as surely be unlearned. Perhaps more correctly, it can be replaced. You see, worry is simply a continual contemplation – over and over again in your mind – of bad things that you think might happen. From a spiritual perspective, it’s paying attention to and accepting the constant whispers Satan is throwing at you about how bad things are, or how bad they’re going to get, or that you (or your family or your kids or your marriage or your job or your 401k or the brakes on your car…or anything else) are going under and there’s nothing you can do about it. From a Biblical perspective, it’s blatantly disregarding God’s promises of protection, provision and overall salvation for every (and that means every) area of your life.

How do you replace ‘worry?’ Well, we first have to recognize how it becomes a stronghold in our lives in the first place. Worry gets a foothold just like anything else does: when it shows up, we let it in. That is, we give in to those first ‘worried’ thoughts, and instead of unceremoniously booting them out immediately, we let them hang around and revolve in our mind. The more (and more often) we give them permission to stay, the more we listen to them, and the more ‘normal’ they become to us. We actually grow comfortable with those patterns of thought and the ‘state’ of worry. In other words, it becomes a habit, and we get to the place where we no longer even consciously realize or consider just what it is we’re doing. After all, we’re ‘supposed’ to be thinking about those things because they’re ‘important’ – it’s just a reasonable and responsible reaction to the circumstances, right?

Wrong. Jesus told His disciples to “take no thought” for any of the typical issues of daily life – in fact, He repeated it three times during the same dissertation (Matthew 6:25, 31, 34). I think it’s safe to take that to mean He was serious about what He was saying. Why take no thought? Because provision for all of our earthly as well as spiritual needs has already been included in the Covenant that’s been given to us and ratified by Jesus’ shed blood (2 Peter 1:3). Simply put, we just don’t have to. Our heavenly Father is intensely interested in the total man, our entire well-being – and not just our needs, but our wants and desires, as well (Psalm 37:4). Consider Adam: God initially put him in a good (spelled ‘g-r-e-a-t’) place, both physically and spiritually – and He doesn’t change (Malachi 3:6).

In order to actually stop worrying, we have to counter those ‘worried’ thoughts, when they come, with something else. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 gives us the actual blueprint. The stronghold of worry is pulled down by the spiritual weapon of God’s Word, by answering and replacing every contrary thought with a promise of God’s redemption and deliverance. That’s every contrary thought, each and every time. And, we must put that promise from God in our mouths, as well – it’s not enough just to ‘think’ it. As Jesus revealed, a thought is ‘taken’ and appropriated as one’s own – getting down into the heart – by ‘saying’ it (Matthew 6:31). (That’s also why negative and worry-filled words are so deadly, because we will have whatever we say – the things that we actually believe and speak out of the abundance of our heart; regardless of whether that ‘abundance’ is good or bad, life-filled or death-filled (Proverbs 18:21; Mark 11:23; Luke 6:45; Romans 10:8).

It may take a little while to break and pull down those fortresses of worry. That’s okay; just keep at it. Keep on doing 2 Corinthians 10:6.  Do the Word; that’s when the power will manifest (James 1:25). After all, it took years to build that stronghold, so let patience have her full and complete time get the job done (James 1:4). You can rest assured that it will, because God’s Spirit never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8; Galatians 5:22). So, cast all (which really does mean all) of your cares and burdens over on the Lord, and stop giving in to worry (1 Peter 5:7). Just think: you’ll be much better off – and actually get some results – by spending that time praising God for His deliverance instead! (Psalm 22:3)

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2 Comments to “Worry: A Complete Waste of Time!”

  1. Excellent post, with practical guidelines. Thank you for this, Lester. Dee

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