Why Worry?

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6)

Has worry ever made anyone taller? Ever enabled anyone to live longer? Ever filled a hungry stomach (Matt. 6:25-31)?

Worry can literally eat our lunch! When our hearts are filled with worry, we cannot do enough. At night we worry that everything we’ve done will fall apart. We replay those conversations in our heads to find how we could have been misunderstood. We beat ourselves up for being so clumsy with life and words. Worry haunts our marriages: “Why doesn’t he love me?” “What have I done to turn her away from me?” We roll everything we’ve done wrong over and over in our minds.

Wow! I am exhausted just writing this. What a cesspool of destructive thinking. No wonder Paul says, “Be anxious for nothing….” “Yeah, but what does he know about me or what I’m going through?” Well, Paul did understand back then, but more than that the Holy Spirit understands today. Paul had plenty to worry about. He had his life, churches, Timothy, and those who preached to do him harm.

But what did he fix his mind on? He thought about the goodness and greatness of God (Philippians 4:8). He practiced the habit of prayer. He asked others to pray for him (Eph. 6:18). Faith and prayer cannot coexist in the same mental space as worry, for one will crowd out the other.

Many times we miss the peace that passes understanding because we simply forget to pray. In fact, following the verse about being anxious, Paul said, “and the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). I would like to understand that better, but even in my lack of understanding I can trust that it is so.

We must realize that worry includes our minds just as faith includes our minds. One mind is like the world, the other is like Paul. Which, do you think, will bring peace and allow us to be closer to God?