Not To Worry

“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry…”  Matthew 6:25

This week our Bible study is taking a good look at worry.  I’m kinda worried about it, actually.  How am I supposed to teach a lesson on not worrying?  Can a person really learn to keep from being worried in this life?  After all, we live in a worrisome world.  Right?

Worry: to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret.  The original Greek meaning of the word means to choke, to strangle, to drown.  Not a pretty picture.  So why do we do it?

In preparation for the study, I asked the Lord to show me what it is I worry about.  I gave Him full permission to set off sirens and flash blinding lights every time I worried.  Here’s what I found out: most of it was stupid stuff.  I wasn’t tormenting myself with thoughts about the weak economy, or the state of education in America or the plight of the homeless.  My fretfulness didn’t have anything to do with the war in the Middle East or the victims of natural disasters.  My worries were either outlandish scenarios that ballooned into tragedies in high-def 3-D living color (what if I swerve to miss a deer and the van goes down into a swampy ravine and nobody finds me for three days and by then the fish have eaten off my face and I am unrecognizable……); or my worries were along the lines of, “Did I put the milk away after having my Honey Nut Cheerios this morning?”

Sometimes I have worthwhile worries, usually involving the kids: are they happy?  are they making good choices?  are they brushing and flossing?  Or there are marital worries: will we grow old together?  will he always find me attractive?  will he remember to take out the garbage?

But Jesus didn’t put worries and cares into categories.  There was no designation for imaginative worries or stupid worries or noble worries.  He lumped them all together and said, “Do not worry.”  Period.  Let’s think about it this week.  What do you worry about?  Is it possible to NOT worry?

5 thoughts on “Not To Worry

  1. Sorry to say, I am very good at worrying. I am the Desigated Worrier” for our family (self-appointed). I think most mothers are. I admonish my children — “Don’t worry, it will be ok.” — but I don’t follow my own advice. Yesterday’s worries included: Is my husband getting enough sleep during this busy harvest? Will Meg and Eric have trouble-free & safe travel back to NY? Will my grandson have a good day at school (I forgot to put his school back pack with all its important contents in the car when we transferred the boys back to Mom/Dad). How will we organize Christmas this year now that all 3 girls are married? What is my new identity, now that I am retired (and no longer a wedding planner)? How will I know my purpose in life?

    Do not worry…? Hmm. Tall order for me.

  2. Yes indeed, a tall order for all of us. I’d like to at least make some progress toward worrying less. It seems like such a waste of time and energy when truly, it doesn’t have much effect on the outcomes. All the time I spent worrying about the weather for Anna’s wedding didn’t change a thing. It rained. But she still got married and had the most wonderful day of her life. I’d just like to get to the the point where worry isn’t my automatic default mode. Working on it!

    • I’ve been thinking about this. I don’t think it is possible to be completely without worry. But I do think we can work on worrying less. Being a parent tends to increase the worries…..we become more keenly aware of all the potential pitfalls and dangers that can affect our children. God is our Father…….does He “worry” about us? He loves us…..but does He worry about us?

  3. I have been thinking about this. I don’t think it is possible to be completely without worry. But I do agree that we can work on worrying less. Being a parent tends to increase our worries, as we become more keenly aware of the pitfalls and the dangers that can affect our children. Worry sometimes calls people to action as a means of protecting those we care about.

    So…..God is our Father…..does He “worry” about us?

    (I must admit that most of the things I worry about never really come to fruition, which means I have wasted a lot of time and energy for nothing.)

  4. Interesting thought: does God worry about us? Hmm. Does it appear that Jesus ever worried? He expressed lots of different emotions, but an anxious Jesus doesn’t seem to fit. So it seems that worry is not a reflection of God’s character.

    I think the command “don’t worry” is in the same order as “be holy”. We’re never going to live up to that standand. But I heard something helpful last weekend. We went to see the one-man-show ,”Vince” – a guy who looks and talks like Vince Lombardi. One of his lines was, “We are going to relentlessly pursue perfection. We will not achieve it because no one is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly pursue it because on the way we will catch excellence.” That’s how I see this pursuit of being worry-free. Probably never going to reach that goal, but if we at least aim for it, we might save ourselves from an ulcer on the way.

    The topic of children brings a whole new dimension to this. More on that later!

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