Speaking of worry, humorist Don Herold said, “If I had my life to live over, I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.”
Have you wondered how much time you’ve spent worrying? And have you asked yourself what that worry accomplished? I’d like to share four reasons why worry should be avoided.
First, it is in conflict with the principle of faith. Arthur Roche said, “Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all others thoughts are drained.”
George Muller, noted for his great faith in God, said, “The beginning of worry is the end of faith; the beginning of faith is the end of worry.”
More importantly, Jesus told His followers, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life — whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear …” (Matthew 6:25)
Second, worry is unproductive. Jesus, in the same passage quoted above, asked the rhetorical question, “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?…” (Matthew 6:27)
Lucille Montgomery wrote, “It only seems as if you are doing something when you’re worrying.”
Mary Crowley wrote, “Every evening, I turn my worries over to God. He’s going to be up all night anyway.”
And someone else said, “Why worry when you can trust. Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere.”
Third, the practice of intense, and-or prolonged worry, is bad for our health. I’ve suggested to many that the primary cause for ulcers is mountain-climbing over molehills. Worry creates stress, which in turn saps energy, disrupts sleep patterns and hinders proper rest. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Worry weighs a person down …”
Finally, the fourth reason for abandoning the practice of worry is that it tends to distort facts and negatively affects our focus. Worry focuses on man’s abilities rather than God’s sufficiency and on human effort rather than Jesus’ provision.
Jesus told his disciples that if they come to Him with their worries and concerns, He will “give them rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Daniel Kelly said, “Worry is faith in the negative, trust in the unpleasant, assurance of disaster and belief in defeat … worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles.
“A dense fog that covers a seven-city-block area 100- feet deep is composed of less than one glass of water divided into sixty thousand million drops. Not much is there, but it can cripple an entire city.”
In simplistic, but powerful contrast, the Bible says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, because He cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church.