33 But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:33–34 NET)
Today’s reading in our Bible challenge comes from Matthew 6-9. One of the passages that really jumped out at me was the section on worry in chapter 6. There is no doubt in my mind that worry is one of the greatest thieves in the world. It takes so much from us! Frequently our worry leads to fear, and our fear leads to doubt, and our doubt leads us ultimately to sin. In The Absolute Basics of Christianity I encourage everyone to memorize the verses above because they are such a powerful reminder. Worry is a hazardous practice for believers and should be avoided at all costs. There is nothing positive at all that comes from our worry. Jesus said don’t worry about what your future might hold, let it worry about itself. This is good advice and can enhance our lives a great deal if we follow it. There is however an important statement in verse 33 as well, Jesus says above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness. It has been my personal experience that when I am engaged in this divine endeavor I have far less time to worry. I worry less when I am fully devoted to living as a modern day disciple of Jesus Christ. Most of our worries are a result of taking our focus off of the pursuit of his kingdom and righteousness and instead focusing on the futile things of this world. Worry was a waste of time 2,000 years ago and it is today as well. Whatever it is that has your anxiety levels raised today give it to God, seek his kingdom and righteousness instead and you will be blessed. Below are some of my simple and practical tips to help you avoid worry as well. Let me know if you would add anything to this list.
Tips to overcome worry…
- Plan, prepare, and whatever you do don’t procrastinate. There is far less to worry about when we work hard and take time to prepare for life. Putting things off until the last minute will only increase our tendency for worry.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is a wonder drug that solves many health, emotional, and worry problems. Make sure you get enough sleep.
- Pray often, and pray with others. Prayer is a great way to release our worries and cares into the loving hands of our heavenly father. When we bring others into our prayer life it has an amazing effect as well. There is something powerful about knowing others are praying for you, while they are praying with you.
- Context, perspective, and reason are essential. 95% of the things we worry about never happen. The other 5%, when viewed through the lens of context and perspective, are not worth our time and energy either. So when you are tempted to worry be reasonable, look at the overall context, and judge things from the right perspective and you will find that worry is a waste of time.
- Trust and have total faith in God. The bottom line is that our worry comes from a lack of trust and faith in our Lord. Total trust in God will remove all worry from your life. I know it’s hard, but I also know that this is true.