So this should be an easy one, we all know we shouldn’t worry. We all know we should always trust God no matter what. But when it comes down to it, I’m just as guilty as anyone else. I have a track record of falling back into worry and stress. It’s something that’s been there as long as I can remember. Maybe it’s the way I’m made, maybe it’s something that’s hereditary or genetic. A simple bad habit or part of my nature that tends to slip back into worry when I’m not thinking, not vigilant or mindful of it. Even though I know this is something in my brain I tend to struggle with, I’m going to keep pressing toward that mark of the upward call of God (Philippians 3:14).
The thing that frustrates me most about worry is that it really and truly accomplishes nothing. I know this for a fact because I have seen it play out in my own life! It is 100% a waste of energy. So why do I find myself so often falling back into it? Is it because I’m used to it and it feels comfortable? Is it the easier road for me? It only causes a flurry of emotion and an internal rollercoaster and literally amounts to nothing but wasted energy. When it’s all said and done I did all the things on my list I was worried about, everything resolved, and there was absolutely no reason to go on the rollercoaster.
My logical brain knows this. But my emotions on the other hand tend to run away with it. But you know what? Emotions are not real. They are not fact. They are sometimes not even based in reality. They are chemicals flying through your body making you FEEL a certain way, but it may not even be TRUE! It’s ridiculous. Honestly. Like why do we have emotions that lie to us? But I’m sure you know what I mean! These feelings can start running and we can get carried away right with them! We have to remember to focus on TRUTH. Feelings are not truth. Feelings are feelings. The truth is what’s written in the Word of God. My feelings can change in a split second! The Word of God never changes.
Sometimes I need to give myself a good “shoulder shaking” to remind myself of this. You know what a shoulder shaking is, right? Like in the old movies (and I am aware this reference is not PC these days, but bare with me) when the woman would be emotional and the man would come along and grab her shoulders and shake her like that was supposed to get her to be like, ‘oh yeah, ok, I don’t feel that way anymore, you’re right I was acting crazy.’ HA! That is obviously the wrong approach in real life, but sometimes we do just need to grab our own shoulders and take control and shake ourselves out of our emotional state when we have allowed feelings to rule ourselves instead of truth.
In Luke 12 (starting in v22) is another version of Matthew 6 (starting in v25) (which if you remember Matthew 6 specifically talks about not worrying and culminates in the verse we all know, Matthew 6:33, Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you). What I like about Luke’s version is that it’s the same story we’re all familiar with, but it’s written slightly differently. And comparing the two side by side, you can get more depth of meaning from the passages.
I fully recognize that worrying gets me nowhere, and the Bible even says, very clearly, who can add a moment to his life by worry? (NLT says ‘one moment to your life,’ NKJV says ‘an inch (cubit) to your stature’ — both are basically the same impossible task that worry cannot accomplish). And while I recognize the truth written plainly in the Word, and can clearly see that worry accomplishes nothing in my own life, my tendency may still be to worry. And if I’m coasting on autopilot not thinking about it, I will very likely end up stepping right in it. So how do I combat this thing that I know is a waste of time and energy yet I find myself falling in so often?
I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s must be a choice. If I know the truth and yet I keep slipping back into the lie, I have to do something consciously to set my face back toward the truth. I have to choose to trust God and not worry. I know this may seem like a basic thing, but human nature wants to keep pulling us down and it’s never going to stop until we stop being a fallen human on that glorious day when we are transformed in eternity. So I’m taking the chance in thinking that I may not be alone in this and that we could all be reminded to once again (and as many times as it takes) to take our eyes off our problems. Stop worrying about it. And choose to trust God. Because He never fails us. He is 100% faithful 100% of the time and can never fail to be faithful!
So here are some verses to read and journal about as you have time this week:
- Luke 12
- Matthew 6
- 1 Peter 5:7
- Isaiah 26:3
- Philippians 4:7
- What is God speaking to you through these verses? Journal about your thoughts and how it applies to your situation.
- What are some things you are worrying about? Write out a list and pray over it, taking time to give each one over to God. Surrender to His will in that area and choose to trust Him to work it out for you. Come back to this list and pray over it each time you start to worry and recommit your trust to Him for each specific thing.
- What is one thing you can do right now to move toward trusting God more and worrying less? Write at least one thing down that you can start today, this moment. Or make a list of things that could be helpful to do over this coming week and write them on each day of your calendar so you can start moving toward trust and away from worry.