We tend to worry about a lot in our culture. We tend to stress about a lot that we can’t do anything about. Things from our past that can’t be undone, things in our present that are in someone else’s hand and even things in the future that you think might happen, but haven’t yet. I love that Jesus addresses this right in the middle of his famous sermon on the mount. Matthew 6:25-27 says:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
I love verse 27! Can worrying do anything positive for our lives? Worrying has cost me sleep, consumed my thoughts and time, has stifled productivity, stolen joy, but I don’t think it ever produced anything good. I have never spent a day worrying about something and then thought that it was a good decision the next day. But, sometimes it can just be so hard to not let worry take over. Paul gives us a clue how to stop this in his letter to the Philippians. In chapter 4 he says:
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~ Phil 4:8
We have to choose to meditate (see yesterday’s post) on those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and those things that are excellent and praiseworthy. Every time I have switched gears and been able to focus on those things the worry has disappeared completely. It’s funny that we always realize that worry is worthless after the fact. You can’t enjoy life in a constant state of worry. Enjoy life! Make a intentional choice, when worry tries to come, to think on “anything” that is good.
What’s the take away? Memorize it, write it down, quote it, heck, get a Philippians 4:8 tattoo and look at it often … you’ll be happier, live longer and love better!