Worry is one of those things that most all of us do in varying degrees. For some it’s just an occasional thing. But for many worry can be a debilitating monster that rampages through their lives leaving destruction in its wake.
Our bodies are not designed to deal with the stress of worry. It’s not something we were ever meant to have to deal with.
Fortunately the Bible lays out a solution for us to eliminate worry from our lives. We just need to discover that scriptural way to process things that cause us to worry and then apply that process to our lives.
In this episode:
- An Example from the Workplace
- Self Centeredness
- Heart of Peace
assignment Full Transcript(Scroll for more)
Heya! Last time we talked about how not to worry. We saw that the first thing we should do when we have an anxious thought is to stop. Right there, when that anxious thought first hits us we have to catch our selves so we don’t run off into all kinds of wild possibilities.
Instead we saw in Philippians 4:6-7 that rather than worrying we should take those challenges straight to God in prayer.
An Example From the Workplace
In fact, let’s look at how the New Living Translation puts verse 6:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
To me Paul is saying that worry is “above our pay grade,” so to speak. It’s not our job to worry. We’re supposed to kick that up to the boss so he can deal with it.
Have you ever worked for someone else? I’m guessing you probably did. In fact odds are you do now. In all that time have you ever come across anything in your work that really needed to be dealt with by your boss?
Maybe you didn’t have the authority to deal with the problem. Maybe it was outside your area of expertise.
Regardless, in the typical work environment there are things we have to “kick upstairs” to the boss so he can deal with it.
That’s exactly what Paul is saying to do with our worries. When we hold onto worry and anxiety we are doing something we were never meant to do. Our human bodies were never designed to cary stress. We’ve talked about that before.
Instead we’re supposed to pass it all on to God and let him deal with all that junk.
Here’s what the Greek word that is translated anxious means according to Strong’s:
- to be anxious
- to be troubled with cares
- to care for, look out for (a thing)
- caring or providing for
- to seek to promote one's interests
That’s the problem when we worry. We get focused on ourselves instead of on God.
What are you looking at? Where is your focus?
When you find yourself all sucked into worry and anxiety, know this: you are nearly always worried about yourself in whatever situation you are stressed about.
We worry about how things will affect us, what might go wrong and how we’ll cope if it does.
When mom’s worry about their kids often one of their main worries is “what will other people think?”
Not only is worry usually sparked by an over emphasis of self-interest, but that inward self focus gets magnified the more we worry too.
Fortunately Paul gives us the antidote to worry.
Heart of Peace
Let me ask you, what is the opposite of anxiety according to this passage? Peace.
When we pray, instead of worry we bring the peace of God into our souls - into our minds, our will and our emotions. Not only do we tap into God’s peace, Paul says that peace will actually guard our hearts.
Guarding our hearts is very important. Proverbs (4:23) says it this way.
Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
Keep means to set a watch over, to preserve, to guard from danger, to be kept close or blockaded
Here’s how the Amplified Bible puts it:
Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard…
When the Bible says issues there it means borders, boundaries, extremities. It means the outgoing extremity of a border, the source of life, and escape from death.
So let me boil that down into “Chris Speak” that makes sense to me.
The idea is that we need to pay close attention to the condition of our hearts because it is our heart’s condition that ultimately determines how big our influence is for the Kingdom of God.
The New Living Translation says, "it determines the course of your life."
As we’ve talked about in previous episodes, our heart is what determines the course of our lives.
We are hard-wired as human beings to crave peaceful hearts. That’s what most religion is about - doing things to find peace in our hearts and with God.
It’s also what most sin is about, believe it or not. When people sin they are trying to make their souls feel better. Really they are craving some measure of peace.
You know what, there’s more to explore along those lines but I’m out of time. So until next time, Enjoy!