Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is Worry Eating You Alive?

Do you lay awake at night trying to figure out how to make it all work…  
Do you often look back fondly to when “things were easy” and when you didn’t have the worry you have now?    
Being worried about stuff, worried about things that are totally out of my control is one of the things I struggle with the most.  Worrying about today, worrying about tomorrow, about the kids, work, money, the house, the car, the dog, (Ok I don’t have a dog, but I do have a ferret, I guess I don’t actually worry about the ferret much) anyway, sometimes it feels like there is nothing in my life that I “don’t” worry about.   It’s something that I have struggled with my whole life.
One of my all time favorite verses in the Bible that I quoted in my last blog post was Luke 12:22-26, I love this verse because it’s not just true, but also simple and blunt, which is frankly what I need a lot of the time.  Another one that helps me when worry starts to creep into my head, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:34 (NLT).  Isn’t this so true!
The reality is that being concerned and planning for the future, and the future of your family, specifically to ensure that you are able to provide for and meet their needs is important.  I don’t believe that’s what Jesus was talking about, for me,  most of the “worry” I have in my life is either, one -> about things that are totally out of my control, or two -> about things that are simply not that important in the grand scheme of things.  
For most “worries”, no amount of mental energy spent on it with have ANY effect at all.  All the self imposed stress and concern over something that you have no control over is frankly a total waste.  Spending all night long tossing and turning, worried about that big meeting tomorrow will have ZERO effect on the outcome of the meeting, you can’t “will” something to happen, it just doesn’t work that way.  
“People who work hard sleep well, whether they eat little or much. But the rich seldom get a good night’s sleep.”  Ecclesiastes 5:12 (NLT)
I think verse cuts right to the heart of a great deal of the stress in our culture.  Why is this verse so true?  Does money cause stress?  I don’t believe so, I believe what causes this kind of stress is the love of things, when we focus on things we will inevitably worry about them.  How am I going to save it, or insure it?  How am I going to invest it?  How am I going to protect it, or avoid taxes on it?
How am I going to keep from losing it?
The more you have, the more you’ve got to worry about.
So how do you live in a “stuff” culture like ours and not get caught in this cycle?  Well that’s the question isn’t it!  Jesus made it clear that the problem with money wasn’t money itself, but really was a heart condition about “things”.
I think the key is in that verse as well “People who work hard sleep well, whether they eat little or much. But the rich seldom get a good night’s sleep.”
The challenge is to find the gifts that God has given you and use them for his glory, and to work hard, doing just that. If your focused, He will take care of you “Luke 12”, you will be able to focus on the task at hand, “Mathew 6.”
Think about how sweet it would be if you weren’t worried about the “stuff” of your life, and could just focus on what’s actually important!
-Christopher Behnke
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